Our VA-X4 is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, fully electric, zero emissions and, initially, with a pilot on board. We thought that for certification and public acceptance purposes this is the best place to start. We believe that autonomy will develop over time once the regulatory frameworks are in place.
However, we’re also trying to upload as much technology as we can and prepare for the autonomy step-change that will probably happen during the 2030s. We have gathered a great group of partners such as Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Microsoft, GKN and Solvay to help us on the development, certification and industrialisation of the build.
We also have an interesting strategy in the partnerships we are building with our customers. We want to be an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and provide vehicles to experienced customers who know how to operate them in an aeronautical environment and who already have a network of passengers and routes in place.
We are aiming at certifying the vehicle at the end of 2024 under UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Special Condition Regulations. We plan to start producing at scale after that, introducing the vehicles into service in 2025.
We have a plan to increase and scale production to volumes that are close to the car industry, so we are targeting a thousand aircraft per year in 2026. We know many other things will have to be developed in parallel and a full ecosystem will need to be created, including infrastructure, energy and integration with other means of transport.
Airspace integration, so these vehicles can be managed in our urban skies and integrated with traditional air traffic managed by air navigation service providers (ANSPs), is a major part of this.