UK aerospace manufacturer Vertical Aerospace has selected Solvay to support its VA-1X passenger air-taxi programme.

The companies have also signed an agreement that will see Solvay supply composite and adhesive technologies, as well as technical support at Vertical Aerospace’s office in Bristol, UK.

Vertical Aerospace will also have access to Solvay’s various composite and adhesive qualified product portfolios and specialised technical and application support at its European Application Centres.

The first flying prototype will conduct its test flight in September.

Solvay Global Business Unit composite materials president Carmelo Lo Faro said: “Solvay is proud to partner with Vertical Aerospace, a pioneer in sustainable aviation technologies, whose VA-1X aircraft is set to revolutionise the way we travel.

“By providing the performance required to operate safely and maximise range, while facilitating the processes needed for mass production, our advanced materials will be key enablers to the mass-adoption of eVTOLs.”

The electrically powered VA-1X project is in line with Solvay and Vertical Aerospace sustainability agendas. It will also offer emission-free flights.

The piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft can fly 160km at cruise speeds of 150mph/240km/h.

Certification for the five-seater aircraft (four passengers and one pilot) is scheduled for 2024. Commercial services are expected to commence shortly after certification.

Last August, Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace unveiled preliminary designs for the aircraft.

Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka said: “We are incredibly excited to be working hand in hand with Solvay, co-innovating to develop a lightweight, advanced and sustainable eVTOL thanks to their portfolio of advanced materials.”