23 | June | 2024

PAV/eVTOL Design to Certification

The fast growing world of PAV/eVTOL aircraft is pushing the boundaries of design, materials science and power generation.  These unique designs will have varied performance, stability and control, and handling qualities.   All of these will need to be evaluated during the design phase and proven for certification. Whilst designs are emerging from within gaming simulations and being flown in the virtual world, the move from design look and feel to a flying certifiable aircraft presents some additional challenges.

The world of approximations no longer applies when it comes to certification and there is no reason to expect that the authorities will view a PAV/eVTOL aircraft any differently to a more conventional aircraft when it comes to certification i.e.

  • Data will need to be validated and tuned against rigorous standards and not just virtual.
  • Simulations need to be deterministic at a fixed/known frequency
  • Any and all failure modes and outcomes will need to be considered
  • Performance will need to be verified.

For those who have not certified an aircraft before, this looming process will come as a shock.  Whilst new approaches to certification are being considered, it cannot be short circuited and the data required as the technical foundation is both highly objective and precise.

All the criteria summarised above means that the use of gaming simulations will not be acceptable moving forwards in the design phase and if the use of simulation becomes more widely accepted for certification, it will need to follow the same acceptance criteria as high fidelity pilot training simulators.

Models developed within the j2 Universal Tool-Kit satisfy the FAA/EASA simulation requirements and can be matched to flight test data to satisfy the highest criteria. For more information see PAV/eVTOL Design

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