EASA, Airbus Partner On VTOL Platforms


Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation designed to “bring together their respective experiences and know-how” on developing the next generation of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) platforms and associated regulatory framework. According to Airbus, the agreement includes cooperation in areas such as high-speed flight, certification of new piloting assistance systems, thermal/electrical hybridization of rotorcraft and condition-based maintenance.

“Partnerships with industry are part of our strategy to ensure that innovation in the aviation market happens safely,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “The learnings we derive from cutting edge technologies play a significant role in helping us to prepare our certification methodologies for these new advancements. The cooperation on innovation with Airbus Helicopters represents an important contribution to this strategy.”

As previously reported by AVweb, EASA published a “Special Condition” for the certification of eVTOL aircraft last July, calling it the “first building block to enable the safe operation of hybrid and electrical vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” The Special Condition covers eVTOLs carrying nine or fewer passengers with maximum takeoff weights of up to 7,000 pounds.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. “hybridization” Finally, a word other than “all electric.” However there is still a big problem. If you have both generation and batteries – the pack must match the charging current. Thus, having the added weight is counter productive. A generating system is the only way to get your numbers up to “7,000 pounds.” Using large engines and alternating current still adds more weight than a helicopter. There is however a way to do it and greatly reduce weight and fuel consumption. The solution is proprietary but available from us.