Vertical Aerospace is seeking Japanese type certification for its VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) on 29 March said it received the Bristol-based company’s application and will work with its counterpart in the UK “in line with development progress”.

VX4 complete-c-Vertical Aerospace

Source: Vertical Aerospace

“[We] will proceed appropriately with type certification examinations related to aircraft design and manufacturing processes,” the ministry adds in a brief Japanese language statement.

Vertical is the fourth eVTOL company to file for Japanese type certification, notes MLIT. In 2020, Japanese manufacture SkyDrive and US-based Joby Aviation each filed applications, while in 2021, European firm Volocopter put in an application.

Vertical in 2021 announced a partnership with Japanese firm Marubeni for pre-order options of up to 200 eVTOLs, as part of a wider partnership that saw both party explore the commercial feasibility of eVTOL operations in Japan.

In January this year, Marubeni made a pre-delivery payment for reservation of delivery slots for 25 aircraft, becoming the first Asia customer to do so. The Japanese firm is already in the process of conducting proof-of-concept flights in Japan.

Vertical has said Japan is a “major eVTOL opportunity” with large market potential, given its “focus on innovative future flight” in the lead-up to the 2025 Osaka World Expo.

Apart from Marubeni, other VX4 customers include American Airlines and lessor Avolon.

Vertical on 30 March announced it had received design organisation approval from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority; agreement on the certification basis for the VX4 is expected later this year, the company having recently submitted its proposal to the regulator.

This story has been updated with additional information from Vertical Aerospace in the final paragraph.