Embraer’s Eve Air Mobility (NYSE: EVE) has added an important technology component to help develop and manufacture electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxis.
The Brazilian company announced Wednesday a strategic partnership with France-based aviation giant Thales to create avionics, flight control, navigation, communication, and connectivity systems for Eve’s proposed new aircraft.
Eve has assured investors that it intends to utilize Embraer’s deep experience in aircraft development. “Embraer is a leading player in aviation in Brazil and globally, and has partnered with Thales for more than thirty years, and now Eve will leverage this partnership too,” said Eve co-CEO Andre Stein in a statement.
Thales already has established development facilities in the Brazilian cities of São José dos Campos and São Bernardo do Campos that will support the project. Thales said it plans to include its engineers from France, Canada and the U.S.
About the Aircraft
The design for Eve’s air taxi includes capacity for a pilot and four passengers, eight rotors for vertical takeoffs and landings along with wings and two ducted fan propellers for horizontal flight.
Digital simulator flights of the aircraft began in 2020. Commercial introduction is planned for 2026.
Thales and UAM
This isn’t Thales’ first eVTOL partnership. Last year, the company announced it was partnering with Airbus (EURONEXT FR: AIR.FP) on development of the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL, overseeing NextGen’s primary computing system.
“Thales is actively engaged in urban air mobility [UAM] emergence,” said a statement from Yannick Assouad, Thales’ executive vice president, avionics. “We are particularly proud to take a new step in Brazil, joining Eve in a project that can be a game-changer for sustainable urban mobility worldwide.”
In addition to developing avionics, the Eve/Thales partnership includes extensive joint research on the overall feasibility of an eVTOL aircraft.
The news comes shortly before Eve’s expected merger with Zanite Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal aimed at taking Eve public on a faster path than traditional IPOs.
Other Eve Partnerships
The Thales announcement is just the latest partnership in Eve’s efforts to assemble necessary components for an eVTOL ecosystem.
- In 2021, Eve unveiled a partnership with France-based Helipass—a flight booking platform for tourism and air mobility that serves the helicopter industry.
- Also last year Eve entered an agreement with Flapper, an on-demand private aviation platform, to develop urban air mobility in Latin America.
- The company has also announced plans to bring air taxis to the Asia-Pacific region through an agreement with Ascent, another aviation taxi booking platform.
- Eve signed an agreement in 2021 with Kenya Airways to develop an urban air mobility strategy for East Africa along with Fahari Aviation.