FAA changes to eVTOL certification spook air taxi developers
News that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has changed its thinking on how it will certify electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for air taxi use has rattled developers of those vehicles – many prototypes of which are already well along in the approval process. In response to the jittery nerves that may have created, the regulator is assuring companies the alterations it has made won’t send any projects off the certification rails.
The main point of change centers on the perspective from which the FAA will analyze eVTOL craft for certification, not necessarily different criteria it already laid out with makers of air taxis and other urban air mobility vehicles. Under the FAA’s recently appointed acting administrator Billy Nolan, the regulator has decided not to apply Part 23 regulations for small fixed-wing aircraft as previously planned. Instead, it will certify eVTOLs as “power-lift” conveyance as stipulated in federal aviation…