Solvay will supply composite and adhesive technologies as well as technical support to Vertical Aerospace.
Solvay is partnering with Vertical Aerospace to develop the composite structure of its passenger air-taxi program VA-1X. The piloted electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) flagship aircraft will be able to carry 4 passengers and 1 pilot for 100 miles (160 km) at cruise speeds of 150mph/240kmph, Solvay reports.
As part of the agreement signed by both companies, Solvay will provide access to its extensive composite and adhesive qualified product portfolio and specialized technical and application support both at Solvay’s European Application Centers and at Vertical Aerospace’s office in Bristol, UK. Together, the companies aim to successfully develop the first flying prototype scheduled for a test flight in September 2021.
“Solvay is proud to partner with Vertical Aerospace, a pioneer in sustainable aviation technologies, whose VA-1X aircraft is set to revolutionize the way we travel. By providing the performance required to operate safely and maximize range, while facilitating the processes needed for mass production, our advanced materials will be key enablers to the mass-adoption of eVTOLs,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit.
Solvay and Vertical Aerospace sustainability agendas are fully aligned, says Solvay. The VA-1X will be electrically powered, where possible by renewable energy, and will offer emission-free flights. The aircraft certification is planned for 2024 with commercial services starting shortly after.
“We are incredibly excited to be working hand in hand with Solvay, co-innovating to develop a lightweight, advanced and sustainable eVTOL thanks to their portfolio of advanced materials,” said Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace.