Vertical Aerospace, Heathrow explore airport eVTOL flights [Update]

Britain’s leading producer of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Vertical Aerospace, has reached an agreement with London’s Heathrow Airport to examine the integration and use of its aircraft on the world’s largest platform. – European passenger airline form.

The agreement calls on Vertical to consider flying its VA-X4 eVTOL vehicles from Vertical to commute between Heathrow and central London destinations over the next few years. In addition to the operational and safety procedures in brass, the joint research will also anticipate the regulatory changes necessary to pilot the craft at the airport; estimate and fully exploit the job creation opportunities involved; and interact with local communities to limit the potential negative consequences of new air services.

The Vertical VA-X4 eVTOL is designed to carry four passengers at a top speed of 202 mph. Powered by a carbon-free battery, the plane can travel over 100 miles on a single charge and produce just 45 decibels at cruising speed, which is 100 times quieter than a helicopter, according to the company. Vertical says its eVTOL will make the London-Heathrow trip in about 12 minutes, about a quarter of the time – but about the same price – from a taxi on an average day of traffic.

Indeed, alongside reducing carbon emissions around the airport, one of Vertical’s main goals will be to help alleviate the often exasperating traffic congestion to and from Heathrow.

“We are delighted to partner with Vertical, a global champion in zero emissions aviation,” said Chris Annetts, chief strategy officer at Heathrow. “This emerging technology has the potential to reduce congestion and pollution on local roads, while providing passengers with a first-class experience at the cutting edge of modern technology. “

Its partnership with Heathrow further strengthens the advantageous position that Vertical has acquired vis-à-vis its competitors in approaching the eVTOL business. It had previously signed an agreement with Virgin Atlantic to launch an eVTOL network in the UK, as well as the airline’s pre-order for up to 150 VA-X4. He has also established working relationships with Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, American Airlines, Bristow Group and Microsoft.

In total, Vertical says it has booked pre-orders for 1,350 planes worth $ 5.4 billion.

October 30 update

Following the announcement of its partnership with Heathrow, Vertical revealed that it had received $ 200 million in new development funding from the management of Mudrick Capital.

A press release from Vertical said that Mudrick, “a global investment firm focused on investing in special situations, will invest $ 200 million in Vertical through senior secured convertible notes. In addition, Kouros SA, a company specializing in investments to decarbonise transport and energy production, will invest $ 5 million in Vertical’s PIPE alongside American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell, Microsoft’s M12 and Rolls-Royce. .

Vertical officials hailed the increased support as another major step towards the launch of next-generation air mobility devices capable of turning carbon-producing traffic from roads into clean, fast and safe transportation alternatives in the sky. “

“Vertical continues to partner with leading organizations around the world … [and] this partnership is a big step forward as we try to bring the UK to Net Zero by 2050, ”said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical. “This announcement marks the start of an exciting relationship that will help make eVTOLs flying from Heathrow by the mid-2020s a reality.”

Vertical’s agreement to prepare Heathrow to rapidly advance eVTOL boat services follows agreement reached last week by airports in Italy and France to create a shared society oversee the construction and management of veliports for future air taxi flights between their terminals and the cities they serve.

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