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Actuator expert Hanwha joins the VX4 supplier cohort
Wednesday, 27 July 2022
The electromechanical actuators for Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft will provide tilt and pitch control for the four forward propellers, and aerodynamic control surface actuation on the wing and V-tail.

Vertical Aerospace and Hanwha Aerospace, an aircraft engine and advanced machinery manufacturer, are to establish a joint development program for the design, testing, manufacture and supply of the electromechanical actuators for Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft. The scope includes tilt and pitch control for the four forward propellers, and aerodynamic control surface actuation on the wing and V-tail.

Hanwha’s state of the art reliable and lightweight electric actuator solutions with built-in systems monitoring and redundancy will be a key element in enabling the VX4 to meet the stringent safety levels being set globally for eVTOLs. This will be achieved whilst avoiding the complexity, maintenance burden and costs associated with traditional actuation systems. Hanwha’s highly advanced manufacturing capabilities will support a rapid and cost-competitive production ramp-up.

Vertical and Hanwha will work together on optimising the design for lightweight and smart electric mechanical actuators specifically tailored to the VX4’s needs. The collaboration will cover the actuator systems both for Vertical’s certification programme aircraft and the production aircraft in its pre-orderbook. Vertical has a pre-order book for more than 1,400 aircraft from global customers including American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.

Vertical’s partnership with Hanwha Aerospace builds on its industrial partnership, with partners including Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Microsoft, Solvay, GKN, and Leonardo, the former three of which are also investors into Vertical.

GKN Aerospace has delivered the electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) and integration expertise for the VX4 from Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. Airframe assembly and EWIS installation was also completed at GKN Aerospace's brand-new Global Technology Centre in Bristol, integrating various parts delivered by the global supply chain.

GKN Aerospace and Vertical announced their partnership in September 2021. Since then, the rapid design, manufacture and delivery of the EWIS has showcased GKN Aerospace's ability to support the faster time-to-market of electric aircraft. The next step in the strategic collaboration between GKN and Vertical, will be manufacturing and integration of the Wing and EWIS for the certifiable aircraft. Design and development activities have already started and are progressing, as Vertical's VX4 is targeting entry into service in 2025.

Michael Cervenka, president of Vertical says: “We are delighted to initiate this partnership with Hanwha. Vertical is extremely impressed by Hanwha’s highly advanced technical and manufacturing capabilities, and we are looking forward to working together on achieving zero emissions air mobility. This partnership will help ensure that the VX4 achieves the highest safety, reliability, and performance standards and that we can scale the programme to meet the demand of our market-leading pre-order book by value.”

Hyun-Woo Shin, ceo of Hanwha adds: “Hanwha Aerospace has proved its outstanding ability on the electronic mechanical actuator through multiple military and civil aircraft programs, and we are excited to provide engineering solutions and price competitiveness to Vertical Aerospace, an industry leader. We are really pleased with this strategic partnership, and look forward to entering the eVTOL market as a tier one partner to Vertical. With Hanwha Aerospace’s high-end technology and utmost reliability in the UAM eVTOL industry, we believe we will deliver a critical component that is best-in-class in support of Vertical’s mission.”

Contact details from our directory:
Vertical Aerospace Ltd Airframer
Hanwha Group Accumulators, Electromechanical Actuators, Flow Control Valves, Fuel Pumps, Fuel Quantity Indicators, Fuel Tanks & Systems, Helicopter Landing Gear, Hydraulic Actuators, Hydraulic Pumps, Hydraulic Systems & Equipment, Linear Actuators, Reservoirs, Rotor Hub Assemblies, Surveillance/Air Defense Radar, Turbine Seals
GKN UK Global Technology Centre (UTC) Additive Manufacturing, Composite Structures, Empennages, Research/Consulting Services, Wings, Wire Harnesses
Related aircraft programs:
Vertical Aerospace VX4
Related directory sectors:
Electrical Components