Vertical Aerospace is a leading UK-based engineering and aeronautical business founded in 2016 by energy tech entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick to develop eVTOL aircraft. Its mission, says the company, is to make air travel personal, on-demand and carbon-free through designing, manufacturing, selling and servicing one of the world's best eVTOL aircraft, the VA-X4, which will travel at speeds over 200 mph, be near silent when in flight, produce zero emissions, and be at low cost per passenger mile.
The VA-X4 is expected to be certified to the same standards as large commercial airliners and therefore, says the company, is expected to be 100x safer than a helicopter. Vertical intends to certify the VA-X4 to European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards - the most stringent global standards - in order to unlock a large urban air mobility (UAM) total addressable market (TAM) of $1 trillion by 2040, with an upside TAM of $4.4 trillion by 2040.
The company says commercial partnerships and individual conditional pre-orders have also been agreed with American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Avolon for up to 1,000 aircraft in total, providing a direct route to market and opportunity to work together on key go-to-market workstreams. In addition to the merger announcement, the company also announced investments from American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, who have invested in the private investment in public equity (PIPE) and are part of Vertical's strategic partner ecosystem; Microsoft's M12, 40 North and Rocket Internet SE have also invested in the business.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO and Founder, says, "This is the most exciting time in aviation for almost a century; electrification will transform flying in the 21st century in the same way the jet engine did 70 years ago. [This] announcement brings together some of the largest and most respected technology and aeronautical businesses in the world and together we can achieve our aim of making the VA-X4 the first zero carbon