Electric air taxi developer Vertical Aerospace has seen the scope of its Design Organisation Approval (DOA) expanded by the UK civil aviation regulator.

Vertical’s engineers will now be able to sign off compliance in an increasing number of areas, including those related to flight controls, avionics, and electrical systems on its VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

VX4-c-Vertical Aerospace

Source: Vertical Aerospace

Development of the VX4 is ongoing

Expansion of the DOA “streamlines the certification process”, says Vertical and shows “further confidence” from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in its capabilities.

Vertical says it will now work with the CAA to “expand its DOA privileges”, bringing other activities within its scope, including those required to obtain a permit to fly for piloted flight testing.

Final assembly of Vertical’s second-generation VX4 prototype is nearing completion allowing the start of piloted flight testing at its Cotswold airport facility in Kemble, in southwest England.

In March 2023, Vertical became the first eVTOL developer to be granted a DOA by the CAA – an essential prerequisite of the type certification process.

“This is another positive step forward in recognising that Vertical has the engineering capability to obtain certification for the VX4 aircraft,” says Stuart Simpson, chief executive of Vertical Aerospace.

“Our world-class engineering and design teams, combined with our partnership with leading aerospace companies and our state-of-the-art facilities in the UK, set us up well to achieve certification to the highest safety standards in the world.”

Separately, the CAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have agreed how they will collaborate on the VX4’s certification.

Vertical says the alignment between the two regulators “sets the foundations for their certification experts to apply common standards and work together towards concurrent certification and validation of the VX4”.

In 2023, the CAA announced its intention to adopt EASA’s Means of Compliance to SC-VTOL, the standards against which European and UK manufacturers design eVTOLs.