It has announced a collaboration with Vertical Aerospace, which is among the first companies in the world to build and fly a full-scale, fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). Vertical Aerospace is working towards commercial flight by 2023.
Together, Vertical Aerospace and Atkins plan to develop a blueprint for ‘urban air mobility’, with Atkins designing the system and infrastructure around the air vehicle. Work on the initiative is taking place in Bristol, which has a long-standing aviation heritage.
Philip Hoare, president of Atkins, said: “As the world’s population continues to grow, our current city transportation models, associated infrastructure and ways of operating will need to adapt to meet unprecedented demand. Vertical Aerospace and Atkins’s pioneering work to take on-demand travel skyward, by developing a system in which eVTOL can operate, has the potential to revolutionise future city and regional transportation.”
Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said: "As we push ahead with developing the technology to decarbonise flight, we must keep passenger experience and safety at the forefront of our designs. Atkins are the perfect partner to develop this infrastructure from the ground upwards and we are delighted to be working with them."
This partnership is intended to draw on Atkins’ experience in aviation projects, including design and certification of major aircraft programmes; global airport infrastructure design and the implementation of technologies such as biometric facial recognition at airport gates.