London, UK – Vertical Aerospace, the pioneering British electric aircraft company, has been awarded Design Organisation Approval (DOA) by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for its VX4 eVTOL aircraft. This significant milestone brings Vertical Aerospace one step closer to achieving Type Certification for its cutting-edge aircraft, as the DOA signals the government’s confidence for design of a safe and reliable aircraft.

The DOA is the first of its kind to be granted by the CAA for an eVTOL aircraft, making Vertical Aerospace a trailblazer in the aerial mobility industry. This authorization allows the company to conduct design activities and issue design approvals, demonstrating its commitment to meeting stringent safety and regulatory standards.

In order to obtain the DOA, Vertical Aerospace underwent a comprehensive assessment by the CAA, which evaluated the company’s procedures, quality management system, technical workforce competence, and facilities and equipment. This recognition from the CAA reflects Vertical Aerospace’s dedication to ensuring safety is at the core of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft.

The VX4 is a piloted eVTOL aircraft with a capacity of four passengers and a range of 100+ miles (160km). Vertical Aerospace conducted a successful maiden flight of a prototype VX4 with a tether in September last year, and the current flight test program aims to test higher altitudes, speeds, and the transition from vertical to horizontal flight for the first time.

VX4 eVTOL in hangar
The VX4 prototype stored in a hangar

Stephen Fitzpatrick, the founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, expressed his excitement about the DOA, stating, “Vertical is the first British electric aircraft company in history to receive a DOA from the UK aviation regulator. This approval is a critical step forward in our mission to decarbonize air travel and bring the UK’s first electric aircraft to market.”

Vertical Aerospace has also initiated the certification process for the VX4 in Japan, with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau’s (JCAB) acceptance of the VX4’s validation program. The company has secured 100 VX4 pre-orders through leasing firm Avolon, with Japan Airlines, and 200 pre-orders with Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation.

In addition to working towards Type Certification with the CAA and validations with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA, Vertical Aerospace is also in discussions with the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil for the VX4’s future validation program.

Paul Harper, Vertical Aerospace’s head of certification, praised the achievement, saying, “Receiving a DOA from the CAA is a huge testament to our team and the hard work we are doing to ensure safety is at the core of the VX4. It represents a significant milestone on our journey to Type Certification and we would like to thank the CAA for their guidance and continued support. I believe that in formally working with JCAB, as the fourth aviation regulator Vertical is committed to certifying with, we are on track for establishing the most detailed understanding of global regulators’ needs and differences for eVTOLs. This will give us a competitive edge in bringing the VX4 into service.”

Vertical Aerospace’s DOA from the CAA, along with its ongoing efforts towards international certifications and partnerships, demonstrates the company’s dedication to leading the way in the development of electric aerial mobility and contribute to the decarbonization of air travel.

Why it’s important:

Vertical Aerospace’s recent Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for its VX4 eVTOL aircraft marks a pioneering achievement in the aerial mobility industry, as it is the first of its kind awarded by the CAA for an electric aircraft. The DOA signifies Vertical Aerospace’s capability to design a safe and reliable aircraft, and brings the company closer to achieving Type Certification, a crucial milestone for commercial operation. Vertical Aerospace’s global approach to aerial mobility, as demonstrated by its partnerships with international aviation regulators, highlights its commitment to becoming a leader in the emerging eVTOL market and advancing electric vertical aviation as a sustainable transportation solution.

Posted by Rajvir Singh