Vertical Aerospace, the global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, has announced a collaboration with Heathrow Airport to explore how Vertical’s VA-X4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle could operate from Heathrow by the mid-2020s.
The agreement between Heathrow and Vertical is a significant milestone for Britain’s zero-emissions aviation industry. Both parties will work closely to explore how this new technology can fit into existing operations at the airport, build understanding of the regulatory changes that would be required, maximize potential job opportunities and minimize any potential impacts on communities surrounding the airport.
With speeds of up to 200 mph, Vertical’s piloted eVTOL will be able to transport four passengers in near silence from Heathrow to the City of London in 12 minutes, with zero operating emissions and at a cost similar to a taxi. This new agreement comes as interest in the future of urban air mobility is growing, with major airlines already operating at Heathrow keen to see the technology develop. Virgin Atlantic has already announced a partnership for the UK launch of an eVTOL network with Vertical and conditional pre-order options for up to 150 VA-X4s.
By working together, Vertical and Heathrow expect to help Britain maintain its leading position in sustainable aviation technologies and support moves to a low carbon economy to help meet the Government’s net zero ambitions to make the UK net zero by 2050.
Vertical’s top-tier global customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow Group, Iberojet and Marubeni Corporation. Through these relationships, Vertical believes that it has the largest conditional pre-order book in the eVTOL industry, of up to 1,350 aircraft worth $5.4bn. Vertical’s eVTOL aims to be an industry leader in safety, being on track to be certified to the highest global standards and matching the safety performance of airline passenger jets.
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.
Vertical’s unrivalled top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification, allow for a lean cost structure and enable production at scale. Vertical has received conditional pre-orders for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. In June 2021, Vertical announced a SPAC merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (NYSE: BSN).
About VA-X4 eVTOL Aircraft
The four passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VA-X4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.