Rolls-Royce to Power Green Flying Taxi Made by Bristol Startup

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc will power a flying taxi in its first deal in the urban air mobility market.

The U.K. engine maker will supply an electrical system for a four-passenger aircraft being made by British startup Vertical Aerospace, which is due to be certified in 2024, the company said Tuesday.

The move comes as Rolls-Royce looks to develop new revenue streams after the coronavirus crisis triggered a collapse in sales at its traditional widebody plane business. Chief Executive Officer Warren East said late last year greater investment in green power would be part of that, alongside a return to the small airliner market.

Vertical Aerospace, based in Bristol, is one of myriad companies seeking to introduce air taxis, which can be powered by batteries rather than fuels due to their smaller size. The startup’s CEO, Michael Cervenka, previously worked on a flying-taxi concept for Rolls-Royce.

About 150 Rolls-Royce engineers in countries including Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. will work on the project, the company said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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