UK-based Vertical Aerospace will expand its deployment of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform to support its flight testing and development programme for its VX4 electric aircraft.

By leveraging ‘virtual twin’ technology, Vertical Aerospace will be the first customer to take its aircraft from design through to certification all on the 3DExperience platform on the cloud.

Dassault Systèmes has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vertical Aerospace to further collaborate on a shared vision for the future of sustainable urban air mobility.

Vertical aims to start commercial flights of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft by 2025 by leveraging the virtual twin technology of the 3DExperience platform to prepare for flight testing in 2022 and flight certification in 2025.

Dassault Systèmes will enable model-based certification to enable continued optimisation of its aircraft design and accelerate its route to certification, by adopting model based certification to synergise virtual and physical testing while maintaining the high level of governance required by certification authorities.

While Vertical is already leveraging Dassault Systèmes’ virtual twin technology to support the design of its aircraft, both companies will now look to support future manufacturing operations by creating virtual twins of industrial systems to enable a more effective and sustainable way to prepare for production ramp up at scale, ensuring right-first-time and on-time delivery to current and future customers.

Vertical Aerospace president Michael Cervenka commented: “We’re pleased to build on our partnership with Dassault Systèmes by exploring new ways to innovate across our certification and manufacturing processes.

“The 3DExperience platform will support all phases of the product life cycle, which is fundamental to our goal of revolutionising the way we travel in a more sustainable world.”

Dassault Systèmes EuroNorth managing director John Kitchingman added: “Vertical Aerospace has grown significantly since we first started working together in 2018, and is now a global player.

“This milestone will set the standard for the development of eVTOLs and their deployment, as part of a greener urban air mobility strategy. This exciting partnership is a clear match for our 3DExperience platform’s capabilities, which will be leveraged as quickly and effectively as possible across Vertical Aerospace’s business.”

The VX4 will be operated by Vertical’s broad customer base, including major airlines, helicopter operators, tourism groups and business aviation.

In July, Vertical Aerospace partnered with Babcock International to explore new applications of the VX4 for established airline customers including Virgin Atlantic, aircraft lessors such as Avolon, and helicopter and tourism operators such as Bristow and Iberojet.

At the same time, Vertical Aerospace confirmed it had delivery slots and pre-delivery payment commitments from American Airlines.