UAV Virgin Atlantic partners with Vertical Aerospace

Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace have entered into a strategic partnership to develop sustainable aviation solutions for the future.

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Over the course of developing new solutions for the future of UK aviation, Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace have signed a strategic partnership that will see the companies working together in various areas.

The companies seek the exploration of a Joint Venture that will focus on establishing a short-haul eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft network with the VA-X4 aircraft. The partnership also includes purchase options for 150 of these eVTOL aircraft by Virgin Atlantic.

Vertical Aerospace´s VA-X4 is an aircraft with zero emissions and a range of over 100 miles. Four passengers can be accommodated, plus one pilot. The aircraft is nearly silent as it the four tilting rotors are now being powered by fuel.

VA-X4 is set to revolutionize urban mobility. It will be capable of flying with speeds up to 200mph and will likely be certified with same safety standards normally used for commercial airliners. This makes travelling as safe as possible.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic said: “With innovation and sustainability leadership firmly in our DNA, we are excited to be partnering with Vertical Aerospace to pioneer sustainable and zero emissions air travel in the UK. We pride ourselves on building enduring strategic partnerships and are thrilled to be working alongside Vertical in its mission to bring eVTOL travel to the UK.”

Within the partnership, Virgin Atlantic will have a purchase option to acquire up to 150 eVTOL VA-X4 aircraft. The companies seek to implement the aircraft on a network that will be built from large airports like London Heathrow or London Gatwick.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO and Founder, added: “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. By bringing together two entrepreneurial organisations who share the same passion for innovation and best in class partnerships, we can revolutionise urban mobility in the UK and electrify air travel. We look forward to working closely with Virgin Atlantic and completely changing how people think about flying through the skies.”

Vertical Aerospace expects its VA-X4 aircraft to be certified by the European Union Safety Agency EASA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority CAA in year 2024.

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