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Honeywell Aerospace is to supply Vertical Aerospace with fly-by-wire control systems for the planned electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that the UK manufacturer says will enter service by 2023. Under a strategic-partnership agreement, Honeywell will provide systems including triplex fly-by-wire computers for a third prototype that is due to fly in 2020.
Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace was formed in 2016 and last year achieved first flight with a proof-of-concept model. Later this year, the company intends to introduce a second prototype and this, as well as the planned third prototype, will incorporate higher degrees of system redundancy based on lessons learned from flight testing of the proof-of-concept model.
The as-yet-unnamed new aircraft is expected to have room for around four passengers and could have sufficient range to fly between cities. The proof-of-concept model features four three-blade rotors.
Honeywell is expanding its involvement in the emerging electric aircraft sector and is already partnered in at least three other programs. These include Eviation Aircraft’s Alice (flight control systems), the Pipistrel 801 (fly-by-wire control system, navigation systems, and avionics displays) and Joint Air Mobility’s ROSA (avionics, navigation systems, electric propulsion, and connectivity solutions).