SOLVAY
Partnership with Vertical Aerospace to produce composite structures for electrical aircrafts / Vision of decarbonising air travel
Belgium chemical group Solvay (Brussels; www.solvay.com), in partnership with aviation technologies business Vertical Aerospace (Bristol / UK; www.vertical-aerospace.com), will develop a new passenger aircraft, the “VA-1X”, with composite aerospace structures. The aircraft – the flagship vehicle for a new electric air-taxi programme – will be a piloted electric “Vertical Take-off and Landing” (eVTOL) vehicle that will be electrically powered by renewable energy where possible, for sustainability.

As part of the agreement Solvay will provide access to its extensive composite and adhesive product portfolio. Specialised technical and application support will come from Solvay’s two European application centres and from Vertical Aerospace’s office in Bristol / UK.

“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 Camelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay’s Composite Global business unit.

The aircraft is designed to transport one pilot and four passengers for 160 km at cruise speeds of 240 kmph. The companies aim to successfully develop the first flying prototype of the VA-1X, scheduled for a test flight in September 2021. Aircraft certification is planned for 2024 with commercial services starting shortly after.

Founded by greentech entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2016, Vertical Aerospace has been changing the way aircrafts are developed. The company aims to decarbonise air travel using the innovative technology from aviation, energy and automotive industries.

Recently, Solvay also launched a joint research lab in collaboration with Leonardo (Rome / Italy; www.leonardocompany.com), to develop thermoplastic composite materials and production processes for the aerospace industry (see Plasteurope.com of 15.02.2021).
22.02.2021 Plasteurope.com [246965-0]
Published on 22.02.2021

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Date of print: 03.03.2021 18:39:12   (Ref: 1003019454)
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