Honeywell has signed a letter of intent with Vertical Aerospace to make the company Vertical’s fight deck technologies supplier for its demonstrator urban air mobility (UAM) vehicle.

The company is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle that will be used to carry passengers in urban areas, in a bid to become a key player in the emerging UAM market.

Vertical Aerospace has already developed two demonstrator vehicles, but the partnership with Honeywell will help it to complete its work on its first passenger-carrying eVTOL, with the eventual goal of it serving as an air taxi in cities.

The partnership builds on an existing agreement between the two companies, under which Honeywell has provided its flight control software and Compact Fly-By-Wire system, which provides real-time processing for UAM vehicles.

“Vertical is well advanced in the development of its next-generation, high-performance, passenger-carrying vehicle,” said Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace.

“We are excited at the prospect of broadening our already fantastic partnership with Honeywell, enabling our vehicles to leverage not only Honeywell’s state of the art flight control systems, but also to marry these with the very latest in intuitive and safe flight deck technologies.”

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Vertical Aerospace agreement with Honeywell to bring UAM efforts closer

The new agreement focuses on technologies that are located in the front of the vehicle, including the vehicle operating system, avionics systems controls and multitouch displays.

These systems are designed to make the eVTOL simpler to operate than a conventional helicopter or aircraft, and are considered a vital part of the UAM offering,

“One of the most important outcomes of this program will be the successful demonstration of simplified vehicle operations, which essentially is about making these aircraft more intuitive and flattening the learning curve to safely fly them,” said Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager, UAS/UAM, Honeywell Aerospace.

“Vertical Aerospace has been a wonderful partner, and we’re excited to be part of its demonstrator aircraft to address this challenge and, in doing so, help move the entire industry forward.”

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