Airbus and EASA will cooperate in developing the next generation of VTOL platforms

European multinational aerospace company Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation intended to bring cooperation for a joint effort to develop the next generation of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) platforms and the associated regulatory structures. The agreement will focus on vital areas of development, such as thermal/electric hybridization of propulsion systems, high-speed flight, certification of piloting assistance systems, and condition-based maintenance.

According to Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even: “Innovation that benefits customers is at the heart of Airbus Helicopters strategy and we are committed to working hand-in-hand with authorities around our innovation projects with the same professional approach, experience and spirit that have driven our legacy products.”

Both the EASA and Airbus are already currently working on several means to define and regulate the current developing aerial mobility sector. Notably, the EASA recently released a “Special Condition” pertaining to the certification of eVTOL aircraft in July 2019, and have looked into the certification for VTOL platforms as well. Airbus has been heavily invested in the aerial mobility industry, simultaneously working on several projects intended to explore the viability and commercial applications in the sector. 

Airbus’ A³ Vahana VTOL Project

“Partnerships with industry are part of our strategy to ensure that innovation in the aviation market happens safely,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “The learnings we derive from cutting edge technologies play a significant role in helping us to prepare our certification methodologies for these new advancements. The cooperation on innovation with Airbus Helicopters represents an important contribution to this strategy.”

The Airbus Vahana II demonstrator

Why it’s important: Cooperation between one of the largest aerospace companies and the EASA could indicate that development and commercialization of the aerial mobility could progress at a faster pace. While commercialization of aerial mobility has already been projected to happen within the next decade, several companies still face regulatory issues in getting their vehicles certified and getting the right infrastructure in place. Airbus intends to take the lead by cooperating with the main authority that will oversee aerial mobility in Europe. 

Source // Aerospace Technology

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Posted by Ian Shin

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