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EASA Publishes VTOL Additional Certification Methods

Photo by A K on Unsplash
Photo by A K on Unsplash

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) enhanced the flight path toward urban air mobility (UAM) by publishing its proposal for the certification of electric or hybrid air taxis (VTOLs) on May 25, 2020.

The Cologne, Germany-based agency first outlined a certification framework VTOL manufacturers could use to begin developing air taxis (Special Condition VTOL) in July 2019 as urban air mobility taxis toward takeoff in the next few years.

The agency’s second part of its VTOL agenda addressed certification requirements for hybrid and/or electric propulsion systems and remains open for input from the public through June 19, 2020.

The third and latest component establishes UAM guidelines to certify the structural design envelope, crashworthiness, bird-impact responses, fly-by-wire system designs, safety assessment procedures, lightning-hazard protections, and minimum ratings for handling qualities.

EASA consulted UAM industry members and aviation authorities around the globe to help it establish how “person-carrying small VTOL aircraft with three or more lift/thrust units used to generate powered lift and control” will operate safely.

Further direction will be offered to manufacturers and developers in November 2020 at the European Rotors event in Koelnmesse, Germany.


Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is a California-based writer who is fascinated by the way technology changes our lives.