Bristow Group is one of the world’s leading operators of helicopters provided for government and civil organizations worldwide, oil and gas customers needing offshore transportation, and search and rescue aircraft support. Its current fleet includes approximately 240 of the helicopter industry’s most modern aircraft, providing services in areas like Africa, the Americas, Australia, and several countries in Europe. Both Vertical...
Bristow Group is one of the world’s leading operators of helicopters provided for government and civil organizations worldwide, oil and gas customers needing offshore transportation, and search and rescue aircraft support. Its current fleet includes approximately 240 of the helicopter industry’s most modern aircraft, providing services in areas like Africa, the Americas, Australia, and several countries in Europe.
Both Vertical Aerospace and EmbraerX have started to see more and more traction within the last year. After unveiling the VA-X4, Vertical Aerospace went public with a $2.2bn merger and formed partnerships with American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Avalan. Meanwhile, EmbraerX’s Eve division with Ascent Air Mobility for operations in the Asia-Pacific Region, and with popular urban air mobility provider BLADE Urban Air Mobility in the U.S, which currently provides urban transportation using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
Now, both companies have added yet another massive pre-order set and key partner to their growing lists. Bristow Group represents a major segment of vertical air transportation the world over. Bristow has signed an MoU with Vertical Aerospace for up to 50 eVTOL aircraft, and will not only purchase these aircraft from Vertical once available, but also will also aid Vertical with regulatory certification, infrastructure, and environmental requirements for the VA-X4. With EmbraerX, Bristow placed an order for up to 100 eVTOL aircraft, and will assist Embraer with operations development, vertiport design, regulatory development, and even autonomous operations development. According to Bristol, it will use both Vertical and EmbraerX’s new aircraft to expand into new markets for the company, including a focus on commercial air taxi flight operations.
Said Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw, “Our MOU with Vertical allows us to build upon our leadership position in the vertical transportation market for the past 70+ years and now sets the stage for the disruptive advantages of the VA-X4 with its zero carbon emissions and low operating costs for passenger transport. Our expansion into these new and existing geographic markets with sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services will offer passengers superior regional air mobility solutions” (September 21st, 2021).
He added, “The strategic MOU (with Eve) outlines the continued development of a comprehensive UAM model between Bristow and Eve for an eVTOL that could potentially reshape the market for all electric vertical lift with zero-emissions and lower operating costs. This allows us to expand our expertise to provide sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift into new potential end markets” (September 23rd, 2021)
Why it’s important: With this move, Bristow is signaling its intention to transition from traditional helicopters to all-electric eVTOLs. It has demonstrated this commitment by not only placing orders, but also by partnering with Vertical and Embraer for infrastructure and regulatory development. In addition, with this move, the company is announcing its plans to expand from its current operations into the commercial eVTOL air taxi market, thus marking itself as another key company in the playing field of eVTOL air taxi operators.
Source // Bristow Group
Vertical Aerospace has announced its plans to go public through a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (BSN) that will give Vertical Aerospace a pro forma equity valuation of $2.2 billion USD. Expected to go through in either the third or fourth quarter of 2021, Vertical will enter the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker EVTL. Additional contributors to the...
Vertical Aerospace has announced its plans to go public through a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (BSN) that will give Vertical Aerospace a pro forma equity valuation of $2.2 billion USD. Expected to go through in either the third or fourth quarter of 2021, Vertical will enter the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker EVTL. Additional contributors to the $89 million private investment in public equity include American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, and Microsoft’s M12. Rocket Internet and 40 North were named as key financial investors as well.
In addition, Vertical Aerospace has announced commercial deals and partnerships worth up to 1,000 aircraft pre-orders or up to $4 billion, forming relationships with American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Avalan to provide Vertical’s VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft.
According to Vertical Aerospace founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, these commercial partnerships and pre-orders will create “multiple near-term and actionable routes to market.” In addition, he also stated, “Today’s 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 aircraft that most people will fly on.”
In the United States, Vertical looks to work with American Airlines on passenger operations and infrastructure development, while in the U.K., Vertical expects to work with Virgin Atlantic to develop a joint venture launch of a Virgin Atlantic short haul network. Both these partnerships and the pre-orders are contingent on certain conditions and milestones: American Airlines has agreed to order up to 250 VA-X4s with the option to order 100 more, while Virgin Atlantic has the option to obtain between 50 and then potentially 150 aircraft.
To complete these deals, Vertical Aerospace also intends to finish the certification process for the VA-X4 with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and launch commercial operations by 2024.
“Phase 1 of our spend is to build and certify the VA-X4 and that will require gross spend of around $300 million, of which we already have around $50 million of funding through cash and grants. Phase 2 of our spend is to build a state-of-the-art assembly facility and the total gross of this we estimate at around $140 million,” says Vertical Aerospace chief financial officer Vinny Casey, “We would expect some netting off against this number for in-year profits and pre-delivery payments. So we are very comfortable that our raise of $394 million gross equips us well to reach commercialization, especially when you take into account that we have the largest announced forward orderbook globally.”
According to Fitzpatrick, Vertical Aerospace’s business model allows for a build and operation cost of an estimated $1 per passenger-mile, far lower than some competitors and largely due to the contributions from Vertical’s partners such as Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, GKN, and Solvay. With this prediction, Vertical estimates show that it will be able to achieve profitability and cash flow breakeven with annual sales of less than 100 aircraft. By 2026, it is targeting annual production of 1,000 aircraft, which would translate to revenues of $3.6 billion.
Why it’s important: Vertical Aerospace’s business model, which projects sales requirement numbers lower than most competitors, is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the merger with Broadstone has been successful. With this move, Vertical Aerospace looks to be one of the main disruptors in the transportation industry worldwide, and a top provider of eVTOL technology globally, joining companies like BETA Technologies, Joby Aviation, and more.
Source // CNN
Vertical Aerospace has selected Rolls-Royce to develop electric motors for its prototype. The eVTOL configuration features 4 tilting motors and 4 vertical lift motors. The hybrid configuration allows for speeds up to 200mph and a 120-mile range. According to Rolls-Royce, “Vertical Aerospace is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks our first commercial deal in the UAM market...
Vertical Aerospace has selected Rolls-Royce to develop electric motors for its prototype. The eVTOL configuration features 4 tilting motors and 4 vertical lift motors. The hybrid configuration allows for speeds up to 200mph and a 120-mile range.
According to Rolls-Royce, “Vertical Aerospace is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks our first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on demonstrator programs. Rolls-Royce will design the system architecture of the whole electrical propulsion system, the electric power system that includes our latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power their pioneering eVTOL aircraft,” says Rob Watson, director of Rolls-Royce Electrical. “This exciting opportunity demonstrates our ambitions to be a leading supplier of sustainable complete power systems for the new Urban Air Mobility market which has the potential to transform the way that people and freight move from city to city.”
Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, says “Rolls-Royce [brings] a hugely experienced team with deep expertise and cutting-edge electrical technologies to power our pioneering eVTOL aircraft.”
Rolls Royce anticipates Vertical Aerospace will certify its prototype in 2024 and has 150 engineers across the globe supporting the program.
Why it matters: The announcement marks the first firm eVTOL contract for Rolls-Royce. The company has been working on developing hybrid-electric eVTOL platforms since at least 2018 and Vertical Aerospace believes they have the technical prowess to deliver on their mission requirements. The partnership is also unique in that many eVTOL OEM’s choose to develop propulsion platforms in-house, so outsourcing the system offloads some R&D risk and could become a competitive advantage when going to certify.
Vertical Aerospace has announced the appointment of Richard Alexander as its Head of Flight Physics to help Vertical move towards their vision of electric fight for everyone. Alexander was formerly Chief Flight Dynamics Integrator on the Mitsubishi M100 Regional Jet and Head of Flight Sciences at Bombardier Aerospace; now he will assume a key role in ensuring that the Flight Physics aspects, including noise,...
Vertical Aerospace has announced the appointment of Richard Alexander as its Head of Flight Physics to help Vertical move towards their vision of electric fight for everyone. Alexander was formerly Chief Flight Dynamics Integrator on the Mitsubishi M100 Regional Jet and Head of Flight Sciences at Bombardier Aerospace; now he will assume a key role in ensuring that the Flight Physics aspects, including noise, performance, and handling, are safe and optimized for certification and operation of the first Vertical Aerospace aircraft to fly the public.
Vertical Aerospace has substantial influence in the sphere of sustainable aviation technologies, as one of only a handful of companies to have flown and flight tested two full-scale all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) prototypes with UK Civil Aviation Authority approval. The second, Seraph, can carry 250kg and reach speeds of 80km/h. Most recently Vertical unveiled its piloted winged eVTOL, VA-1X. Capable of traveling 100 miles at 150 mph, carrying four passengers and one pilot, VA-1X is set to be the world’s first certified winged eVTOL with initial commercial operations starting in 2024.
With over three decades of experience in the aerospace domain, Richard has a proven record of accomplishment both as a Flight Physics Engineer and as a leader of teams, completing the conceptual design, development, testing, certification, and entry into service of many aircraft designs, from the simplest derivative to complete clean-sheet programs. This includes the BAe 146-RJ, Bombardier CRJ700 and 900, Bombardier CSeries (now Airbus A220) and all the most recent versions of the Bombardier Global family.
Newly appointed Head of Flight Physics Richard Alexander said: “Joining Vertical Aerospace at such an exciting time in the development of the eVTOL market segment will be a great challenge for me and I am looking forward to meeting the team and starting to contribute. My background is based on fixed–wing aircraft and so I have quite a bit of catching up to do on the world of rotorcraft: I will have to add some “up” skills to my “forward (with a bit of up)” toolbox. However, as the VA-1X will transition from vertical to forward flight during operations, I am sure I will have a good deal of useful aircraft development experience to add to Vertical’s overall capability. I am also motivated by the zero-carbon emissions aspect: our vehicles will replace polluting, dinosaur-burning modes of ground and flight transport. My recent electric aircraft activities at CAE have already ignited an engineering passion to move the planet forward and develop the greenest, most commercially successful product in its class.”
Why it’s important: Vertical Aerospace is continuing to work alongside aviation authorities around the world and plans to have a certified eVTOL by 2024. They also continue to build strategic partnerships with global leaders such as Honeywell, who are developing the flight control systems for their latest aircraft. The company is striving to disrupt the trillion-dollar commercial aviation market, and will leverage the knowledge and expertise of Richard Alexander to do so in the most safe and efficient manner.
Source // Vertical Aerospace press release
Vertical Aerospace has received a major investment from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to fund the development of a smart charger network for its VA-1X eVTOL aircraft. Working in partnership with Warwick University, the two-year project aims to usher in a new wave of aviation battery technology, with marked improvements in battery lifetime, maintenance time, and anomaly prevention. The smart...
Vertical Aerospace has received a major investment from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to fund the development of a smart charger network for its VA-1X eVTOL aircraft. Working in partnership with Warwick University, the two-year project aims to usher in a new wave of aviation battery technology, with marked improvements in battery lifetime, maintenance time, and anomaly prevention. The smart charger system is expected to be completed by October 2022.
The main feature of the smart charger will be an incorporated diagnostic device, which will allow the charger to oversee and analyze real-time in-flight and charge event data, such as battery lifetime, state of charge, and potential failures onboard the vehicle’s battery. The diagnostic device would then allow the charger to make adjustments that would optimize battery lifetime, schedule maintenance automatically, and report any anomalies before they happen.
According to Limhi Somerville, Head of Energy Storage at Vertical Aerospace, “Battery systems including charge and diagnostics testing are well-known in academia and industry; having undergone years of development and research for the automotive market. An aerospace application provides a fantastic opportunity to utilize methods, designs, models and algorithms that were not financially, volumetrically or technically feasible before. Using these novel approaches, we plan to significantly improve the safety, range and capability of our battery system.”
To help with the development of this project, technical experts from Warwick University will be working on the algorithms needed and compare with similar models from other industries. The finished algorithms will be implemented into the smart charger, which will be tested on one of Vertical’s aircraft. After testing is complete, Vertical Aerospace intends to implement the smart chargers on their recently unveiled passenger model VA-1X. The VA-1X can hold up to 4 passengers and 1 pilot, and will be capable of flying at speeds of 150 mph with a range of 100 miles. Vertical Aerospace looks to certify the VA-1X in early 2024, and begin commercial services soon after.
According to James Marco, Professor at University of Warwick, “The successful integration and management of battery systems within future electric aircraft represents a significant research challenge and one that WMG is excited to be working on in partnership with Vertical Aerospace. This project will allow us to expand our capabilities in battery characterization, battery system modeling and novel methods of fault diagnosis and prognosis. All within a sector that is strategically important for the UK as it move towards its zero emissions transport targets.”
Why it’s important: Recent commercialized developments in battery technology have mostly come from the automotive industry, meaning that those batteries are not optimized for aviation gravimetric energy or power density requirements. With Vertical Aerospace and Warwick University’s new smart charger project, battery technology in the electric aviation industry will take another step forward, creating opportunities for the entire aerial mobility industry as well.
Source // Vertical Aerospace Press Release (9/24/2020)
The Vertical Aerospace VA-1X is Vertical Aerospace's third aircraft created, and will be the final version set to undergo certification by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). The aircraft is set to begin commercial operations in 2024, with a 100 mile range and room for four passengers. The company's mission is connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities by creating one of the best performing aircraft on the market.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Winged VTOL
Range: 100 miles
Top Speed: 150 mph
Propeller Configuration: 8 lift rotors, 4 tilting rotors (front)
Passenger/Payload Capacity: One pilot, four passengers, 1000 lbs
Autonomy Level: Piloted with autonomy, eventual full-autonomy
Our Take on VA-1X
Even prior to the VA-1X, Vertical Aerospace has a history of producing record-setting electric vertical aircraft. Its previous aircraft, the Seraph (created in 2019), set the record for highest payload by a vertical electric aircraft at 250kgs. Its team is made up of industry experts from companies like Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Jaguar, and more, and it draws on successful experience in F1 racing technology. Vertical also has extensive experience working with EASA for airworthiness certification for its prior aircraft, showing promise for future certification. Given that that the company has consistently produced aircraft that are competitive with some of the world's leading eVTOL developers, it is on track to accomplish its goal of a 2024 commercial operations launch.
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Back to The Hangar
Vertical Aerospace, a prevalent UK-based eVTOL developer, has just released its long-awaited new air taxi design. The company advertises that its new vehicle will be able to “reduce your journey time by over 80% and eliminate air pollution by flying above the traffic.” According to Vertical Aerospace, the VA-1X will soon be taken through certification with EASA in Europe, and...
Vertical Aerospace, a prevalent UK-based eVTOL developer, has just released its long-awaited new air taxi design. The company advertises that its new vehicle will be able to “reduce your journey time by over 80% and eliminate air pollution by flying above the traffic.”
According to Vertical Aerospace, the VA-1X will soon be taken through certification with EASA in Europe, and is on course to start commercial flights in 2024.
The VA-1X has been designed to be a high performing aircraft, able to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. Capable of carrying up to five people, a pilot and four passengers, Vertical hopes for the VA-1X to be the world’s first certified winged all-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Build will begin shortly, with manufacturing taking place in the UK near Vertical’s headquarters in Bristol.
With the redesign of its vehicle, Vertical has placed an emphasis on the principles of safety, experience, sustainability, noise reduction, and range. The new design is a substantial departure from Vertical’s previous design, the Seraph, which employed twelve overhead propellers in a multi-rotor fashion to lift a maximum of 550 lbs at speeds up to 50 mph. Shifting toward a far more efficient design with vectored thrust and numerous control surfaces, Vertical has chosen to undertake a more complicated project that will prove difficult to certify, but may have more transport applications than their previous aircraft design.
The VA-1X will feature a 150 mph with a useable range of up to 100 miles, meaning passengers could travel from London to Brighton in approximately half an hour, compared to two hours driving, or an hour by train. It will be completely emissions-free, and certified to the same safety standards as traditional commercial jetliners. Vertical expects initial flight prices to fall somewhere in between a private car trip and a chartered helicopter flight.
The mission of Vertical’s air taxi is to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. The VA-1X is optimized for longer-range flights to take full advantage of the tilt-rotor’s efficient cruise, and its design also fits the “common reference models” released by the Uber in 2017 to help manufacturers meet their ecosystem’s design requirements. However, the two have not made public any discussion on collaboration at this time. Head of Uber Elevate, Eric Allison, responded to the Twitter reveal with positive support, so the stage has been set for a potential partnership down the line as Vertical progresses with a physical manifestation of the aircraft.
Said Michael Cervenka, CEO, Vertical Aerospace:
“eVTOL technology will revolutionize travel, combining the safety of commercial airlines with the disruptive environmental and cost benefits of the electrification of flight. With the launch of the VA-1X, we’re proud to be taking eVTOL one step
closer to mass-market adoption, and supporting the next era of aviation. At Vertical Aerospace we believe that people should be able to quickly and affordably get from A to B without sacrificing the planet – with the VA-1X, this vision will start to be realized in under five years.”
Why it’s important: With no physical prototype yet constructed, Vertical recognizes that it must move quickly to gain EASA type certification and production approval for the VA-1X in support of beginning commercial operations by 2024. To support this timeline, the company plans to forgo sub-scale prototyping and move straight to a full-scale build of the aircraft — with testing of individual systems, such as propellers. Fortunately, suppliers including Honeywell and Dassault Systems’ cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE have already been working with Vertical as its development program nears the manufacturing phase.
- Vertical Aerospace eVTOL to be Equipped with Latest Honeywell Flight Deck Technology
- Vertical Aerospace Selects 3DEXPERIENCE for Product Lifecycle Management
Source // Vertical Aerospace; Aviation Today
In the coming weeks, we can expect to see a full-scale prototype of Vertical Aerospace’s latest electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft fly for the first time. The company has been quietly conducting advanced research and development on its vehicle, while simultaneously securing more publicly-announced partnerships with Honeywell and Dassault. Just last week, Vertical Aerospace shared a sneak-peek of...
In the coming weeks, we can expect to see a full-scale prototype of Vertical Aerospace’s latest electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft fly for the first time. The company has been quietly conducting advanced research and development on its vehicle, while simultaneously securing more publicly-announced partnerships with Honeywell and Dassault.
Just last week, Vertical Aerospace shared a sneak-peek of its new aircraft design. Judging from the images, the vehicle can be expected to utilize four propellers in a tilt-wing configuration, as well as a v-tail configuration for stability and control. Honeywell, as recently announced, will supply the multitouch displays, avionics system controls, avionics software and vehicle operating system.
— Honeywell Aerospace (@Honeywell_Aero) August 11, 2020
With regards to the announcement, Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace said, “Vertical is well advanced in the development of its next-generation, high-performance, passenger-carrying vehicle. We are excited at the prospect of broadening our partnership with Honeywell, enabling our vehicles to leverage not only Honeywell’s flight control systems, but also to marry these with the very latest in intuitive and safe flight deck technologies.”
The upcoming aircraft is predicted to be capable of carrying a pilot and four passengers up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 240km/h.
Last year, the Bristol-based startup revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg – the first company in the world to do so. The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on August 22, 2019.
Vertical plans to operate the Seraph (featured above) itself, in addition to the new aircraft to be announced. The company has already flown two full-scale prototypes of the Seraph at a maximum speed of 80km/h and with a payload of 250kg. Last year, Honeywell supplied Vertical’s demonstration aircraft with its Compact Fly-By-Wire System and flight control software, so the two already have collaboration experience.
Why it’s important: The announcement of new contracts and strategic aerial mobility partnerships – including Vertical Aerospace, and in general – signals promising forward momentum in the UAM industry. The unveiling of the upcoming new aircraft from Vertical is eagerly awaited and will mark a large milestone for Vertical Aerospace and Honeywell, as it will showcase technologies that we may expect to see implemented in other aerial mobility vehicles. This partnership will also serve as an opportunity for eVTOL aircraft manufacturers to witness Honeywell’s technologies in a physical prototype and evaluate whether they will adopt Honeywell’s specific features in their own eVTOL prototype designs. Honeywell, in return, has much industry reputation to gain from Vertical Aerospace’s unveiling of the upcoming aircraft, as the supplier could potentially earn itself several new contracts following an impressive vehicle demonstration.
- Vertical Aerospace Confirms Partnership with Honeywell
- Honeywell Releases Their New Compact Fly-By-Wire System for UAM
- Listen to the TransportUP Podcast Interview with Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka
Source // Honeywell; AINOnline
Vertical Aerospace tweeted it will use Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accelerate product development for its Seraph eVTOL prototype. 3DEXPERIENCE is a cloud-based platform which allows aerospace manufacturers to improve collaboration across design, manufacturing, and testing teams while reducing developmental costs across the value stream. This platform has already been implemented with other eVTOL manufacturers among the likes of Joby Aviation....
Vertical Aerospace tweeted it will use Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accelerate product development for its Seraph eVTOL prototype. 3DEXPERIENCE is a cloud-based platform which allows aerospace manufacturers to improve collaboration across design, manufacturing, and testing teams while reducing developmental costs across the value stream. This platform has already been implemented with other eVTOL manufacturers among the likes of Joby Aviation. Vertical Aerospace has a team of 100 engineers and counting and this platform will help give a leg up on the competition.
Before the outbreak of #COVID19, @VerticalAero adopted the #3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud. So, even though they are working from home, the team’s mission to revolutionize how people fly is continuing at full speed. Learn how you can do the same: https://t.co/KZN86CPaJ4 pic.twitter.com/yOCdZmPPMl
— 3DEXCITE (@3DEXCITE) June 8, 2020
“At Vertical Aerospace we were fortunate to have moved onto the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud before we were remote working,” said Owen Thompson Cheel, Flight Systems IPT Lead, Vertical Aerospace. “The team has all they need to work from home and by using the platform on cloud we have been able to continue working with virtually no difference in performance. It’s an excellent case for working on the cloud, and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has allowed us to remain agile and secure without loss of capability, effectively maintaining business continuity.”
Vertical Aerospace will be able to use the cloud-based platform to efficiently deliver its prototype to market while minimizing costs and maintaining quality across the product life-cycle.
“Disruptive innovators like Vertical Aerospace are using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to advance their compelling vision for sustainable mobility and invent new industries,” said David Ziegler, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes. “As businesses today must completely rethink the way they work, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud offers the largest portfolio of applications for product design and engineering from anywhere, with a high level of performance and secure, efficient access to data.”
Why it matters: Dassault Systems is known for its contributions to aerospace program development, most notably its CATIA/ENOVIA/SOLIDWORKS product lineups used by major OEMs including Boeing and Airbus. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform leverages 21st century mobility principles with the latest product life cycle product management technology, ultimately lowering the barriers to entry for players in the aerial mobility space.
Vertical Aerospace announced on Monday morning that they have appointed a new Chief Engineer, Tim Williams. Tim previous spent 10 years as the Chief Engineer at Rolls-Royce, and is a longstanding experienced member of the aerospace industry, having spent 34 years in aviation total. Tim stated that he was “thrilled” to join Vertical Aerospace and that he is impressed with...
Vertical Aerospace announced on Monday morning that they have appointed a new Chief Engineer, Tim Williams. Tim previous spent 10 years as the Chief Engineer at Rolls-Royce, and is a longstanding experienced member of the aerospace industry, having spent 34 years in aviation total.
Tim stated that he was “thrilled” to join Vertical Aerospace and that he is impressed with the similarities between the companies progress within aerospace that have leveraged background from Formula 1 Racing. Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, added his positivity in Williams joining the new role, stating that the Williams’ “empowering leadership style and passion for challenging the status quo fits perfectly with Vertical’s pioneering ethos”.
As a reflection of the truly unique times that face the industry, Tim will be taking on his new role completely virtually, beginning work with the the design team at Vertical from his home.
Vertical Aerospace flew last October a prototype eVTOL dubbed the Seraph: a 12-bladed, six power drive unit configuration eVTOL that was capable of carrying 250kg in the air that boasted the modern lines and sleek appearance that many have come to expect from F1 Racing cars, but not as commonplace amongst the aerial mobility industry. Vertical continues to work with the UK’s Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) for commercial approval of the aircraft that will ultimately come from EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
Why it’s important: This is a big announcement for Vertical Aerospace; the company is well suited to take advantage of Williams as a new Chief Engineer, and will likely benefit from a long standing member of aerospace to ensure that Vertical maintains an intense focus on the research and development of their eVTOL prototype, even despite the current global challenges within the aerospace industry which has been heavily impacted from a primary financial standpoint as discretionary and business travel has been severely curbed.
Vertical Aerospace becomes the first company in the world to unveil flight footage of an eVTOL aircraft capable of carrying 250kg – the equivalent of a pilot and two passengers. Bristol-based startup Vertical Aerospace has revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg – the first company...
Vertical Aerospace becomes the first company in the world to unveil flight footage of an eVTOL aircraft capable of carrying 250kg – the equivalent of a pilot and two passengers.
Bristol-based startup Vertical Aerospace has revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg – the first company in the world to do so. The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on August 22. It follows the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018, the UK’s first eVTOL aircraft to be granted flight permission by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Vertical Aerospace is working closely with global aviation regulators, including EASA, to achieve certification for
Vertical Aerospace’s mission is to make air travel personal, on-demand and carbon free. Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick, the team has grown to more than 70 world-class engineers and technical experts, recruited from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Formula 1. By combining aerospace engineering excellence with new technologies from Formula 1, Vertical Aerospace hopes to help decarbonize the trillion dollar commercial aviation industry and provide a new mode of city-to-city passenger transport.
The Seraph was built to test new technologies and systems for integration into Vertical Aerospace’s upcoming passenger model, due to be unveiled next year. The aircraft is capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg and can reach speeds of up to 80km per hour. It features a unique passive cooling system and a customizable design, meaning it can be made larger or smaller, or fitted with wheels or floats to facilitate water landings. With the Seraph, Vertical Aerospace’s team has further developed concepts from its first aircraft and built in capabilities which will be critical for attaining certification from aviation authorities.
“Today is another major milestone on the path towards carbon free flight. One year ago, we flew a full scale electric VTOL aircraft, the UK’s first. Today, we’re revealing flight footage of our second full scale prototype, the Seraph, an air taxi prototype capable of carrying 250kg. Air travel is one of the worst contributors to climate change and among the slowest sectors to decarbonize. Our mission at Vertical Aerospace is to make personal, on demand and carbon free flight a reality.” –Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace.
The successful test flight comes as Vertical Aerospace announces the acquisition of MGI, an F1 engineering consultancy led by British motorsport veteran Mike Gascoyne. Gascoyne and his team of 20 specialists will form Vertical Advanced Engineering, bringing the total Vertical team up to more than 70 members. The team bring decades of experience building high performance vehicles for Formula 1 and Formula E, having worked with international racing teams including Williams, McLaren, Tyrell, Benetton, Renault and Lotus. They will apply the latest technologies and agile processes from F1 to the development of eVTOL aircraft, including for example, best practice in building fast, light-weight composite structures. The acquisition will allow Vertical Aerospace to accelerate the development of its eVTOL technology, bringing superior certified aircraft to market more quickly.
“We have long believed that the technologies and approaches from Formula 1 could be applied to a range of engineering challenges. Vertical Aerospace’s vision provides a fantastic outlet for our experience and a unique opportunity to shape the future of flight.Joining the Vertical team will allow us to work on cutting edge engineering programs while continuing to provide world-class consultancy services to the wider engineering community.” –Mike Gascoyne, CTO of Vertical Advanced Engineering
Working closely with global aviation regulators, including EASA, Vertical Aerospace will begin with piloted air taxi services on city-to-city routes. Over time, as the technology and regulatory framework develops, it will expand the number of chartered routes served, introduce elements of autonomy, and ultimately, make completely on-demand air taxis a reality. The company has already begun the certification process for its next model, a passenger aircraft due to be unveiled next year.
Why it matters: Vertical Aerospace’s Seraph represents a major breakthrough in prototype eVTOLs. The company has been steadily working on the Seraph since its first prototype in May 2018, and has proved its significant potential with the latest 250kg capable flights. Vertical Aerospace’s announcement is important not only for the company itself, but is also an indicator of the vast improvement and progress being made in the aerial mobility as a whole.
After recently signing an MoU, Honeywell and Vertical Aerospace have officially signed a partnership in which Honeywell will provide the fly by wire control systems for Vertical Aerospace aircraft. Honeywell has had over 100 years in building and engineering technology products, and has had an Aerospace division as early as 1936. Recently, Honeywell has proved its ability to stay on...
After recently signing an MoU, Honeywell and Vertical Aerospace have officially signed a partnership in which Honeywell will provide the fly by wire control systems for Vertical Aerospace aircraft.
Honeywell has had over 100 years in building and engineering technology products, and has had an Aerospace division as early as 1936. Recently, Honeywell has proved its ability to stay on the cutting edge of innovation by founding its own Urban Air Mobility department.
Since its inception, Urban Air Mobility at Honeywell has focused heavily on providing fly by wire technologies for UAM aircraft. These are essentially the flight controls (used in modern airplanes) that allow pilots to fly the aircraft through electronic commands rather than through direct manual control. In future UAM aircraft, fly by wire systems may enable completely autonomous flight.
Honeywell has made massive strides toward the future of Urban Air Mobility by also signing development agreements with Volocopter and Pipistrel (named as one of the Uber Elevate Network partners). Honeywell has collaborated with these companies for autonomous landing systems and more, as well as developing its own electric engine and compact fly-by-wire system specifically designed for UAM.
Vertical Aerospace, UK company which has been developing its eVTOL since 2016, recently flew a successful test flight which can be viewed here. The company envisions building an entire network for on-demand travel in the UK, and is currently working with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to attain Type Certification for the next version of its aircraft. The Vertical Aerospace team consists of over 40 world-class engineers and technical experts formerly from companies like Boeing, Rolls-Royce and GE.
Said Vertical Aerospace COO Michael Cervenka in regards to the signed partnership:
“I’m delighted that Vertical is leading the way in signing this important contract with Honeywell. This is the culmination of a thorough evaluation, during which we have been impressed with Honeywell’s product offering and technical capabilities.”
Why it’s important: The agreement with Vertical Aerospace makes official one of Honeywell’s major UAM partnerships. In addition to Vertical, Honeywell is also working with Pipistrel and Volocopter, two other important players in the UAM market. By signing with Vertical Aerospace, Honeywell reinforces its commitment to a UAM future, and further establishes itself as an expert provider in essential UAM technology.
Honeywell has signed an agreement with yet another urban air mobility company. This time, it’s with the UK’s Vertical Aerospace, which has an eVTOL currently in flight testing. The Vertical Aerospace eVTOL has one of the sleekest designs on the market, comparable to the Bell Nexus Air Taxi or the Lilium Jet. Based out of the United Kingdom, Vertical Aerospace...
Honeywell has signed an agreement with yet another urban air mobility company. This time, it’s with the UK’s Vertical Aerospace, which has an eVTOL currently in flight testing.
The Vertical Aerospace eVTOL has one of the sleekest designs on the market, comparable to the Bell Nexus Air Taxi or the Lilium Jet. Based out of the United Kingdom, Vertical Aerospace completed autonomous flight tests of its two seater prototype last September. Watch the full test flight here.
Earlier this week, the tech giant Honeywell announced that it has signed a ‘memorium of understanding’ agreement with Vertical Aerospace. According to the agreement, Vertical Aerospace intends to integrate Honeywell’s avionics, navigation, fly-by-wire and advanced technologies into future Vertical Aerospace vehicles. Although the images seen here are only of a two passenger prototype, Vertical Aerospace plans to build a version that can seat up to four passengers.
The agreement with Vertical Aerospace is Honeywell’s third agreement with an urban air mobility company. Honeywell signed with Pipistrel in January and Volocopter in April. Pipistrel is currently one of the named companies working with Uber Elevate, and Volocopter plans to complete demonstration flights in Singapore in late 2019.
Said Honeywell Aerospace Electronic Solutions President Carl Esposito: “Honeywell’s expertise in integrated avionics, systems integration, certification and manufacturing, combined with Vertical Aerospace’s capabilities in developing eVTOL vehicles, will spur the advancement of urban air mobility.”
He also mentioned Honeywell’s ability to assist Vertical Aerospace with the aircraft certification process: “Through years of working with the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, Honeywell is well equipped to help Vertical Aerospace navigate the civil airspace landscape and develop their vehicles.”
Notably, Honeywell also plans on developing an electric engine specifically for urban air mobility. Learn more about the upcoming electric engine here.
Why it’s important: Honeywell is beginning to establish itself as an expert in UAM avionics technology. While not many companies have entered this space yet, Honeywell has great depth of experience in advanced aviation tech, and is an excellent candidate to provide reliable solutions for the industry. By becoming one of the first major suppliers for UAM, Honeywell’s expertise will only grow in momentum and reputation.
Sources // Vertical Aerospace, Honeywell, Aerospace Technology
The Vertical Aerospace Seraph is the second eVTOL made by British developer Vertical Aerospace. The first iteration was a smaller 'proof of concept' while the newer Seraph is much larger and has a far higher payload capacity at 250kg (550 lbs). This payload is record setting for prototypes in this category. The Seraph's body has a central fuselage with a total of 8 extremity rotors used for lift and control. In addition the remarkable payload capacity, the Seraph is one of the sleekest looking designs in development, taking inspiration from Formula One racing technology. The company hopes to begin commercial air taxi service by 2022, and recently released the final iteration of its aircraft, the Vertical Aerospace VA-1X.
Vertical Aerospace is based in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 2016 by the former CEO of OVO energy, Stephen Fitzpatrick. Its team consists of over 70 aerospace and automotive experts from companies like Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack, Land Rover, Jaguar, and GE.
CEO Michael Cervenka has two decades of civil and military aerospace experience at Rolls-Royce leading gas turbine design, development, certification and service support. He reported directly to the Rolls-Royce group CTO, co-developed electrical strategy and led future technologies programs.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Wingless VTOL
Range: About 100 miles
Top Speed: 50mph / 80 kph
Propeller Configuration: 6 electric motors each with dual propellors
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 3 passengers, 250 kg / 550 lbs
Autonomy Level: Semi-autonomous with future option for full-autonomy
Wingspan/Dimensions: 20ft width x 26ft length x 10ft height
Altitude: Operates between 500 ft to 3000 ft above the ground.
Regulation: The 'technology demonstrator' aircraft has received certification for flight from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Vertical Aerospace is currently working with the European Aviation Agency to get flight certification for its next model, the VA-1X.
Our Take on Vertical Aerospace
Vertical aerospace is positioned as one of the leading eVTOL development companies in the UK. Its original demonstrator flight video caught the eyes of many in the industry, and established Vertical Aerospace as well on its way to success. Moreover, the team is full of expert members from well established aerospace companies, helping to establish its credibility and bringing expertise as well as the possibility of additional funding if necessary. The record breaking 550lb payload carrying flight of the Seraph, Vertical's latest aerial mobility prototype, was a milestone for the company in demonstrating the viability of their product.
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In June of this Summer, UK startup Vertical Aerospace created and tested a working prototype of its flying car eVTOL at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire. It plans to operate its air taxi service by 2022. The Concept: Vertical Aerospace wants to get its air taxi in the air as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s focusing on piloted flight in the short...
In June of this Summer, UK startup Vertical Aerospace created and tested a working prototype of its flying car eVTOL at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire. It plans to operate its air taxi service by 2022.
Vertical Aerospace wants to get its air taxi in the air as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s focusing on piloted flight in the short term, although it does have autonomy in mind for the long term. Because it has stayed within the category of manned flight, Vertical Aerospaces’s eVTOL managed to achieve certification from UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. It has complied with existing regulations rather than creating a new set, but paves the way for future amendments.
Vertical Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, the former founder and CEO of OVO Energy. OVO provides a wide range of energy services from home climate solutions to electric vehicle charging setups. For a time, Fitzpatrick was also the owner of a formula one team. He’s been heard to say, “The lightweight materials, aerodynamics and electrical systems developed through F1 are highly applicable to aircraft, much more so than to road transport. By putting those technologies in the hands of experienced aerospace engineers, we can build cutting-edge aircraft for the 21st Century.”
The vertical Aerospace team consists of 28 aerospace experts from companies like Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack, and GE.
Vertical Aerospace’s goal is to provide customers with the ability to travel directly to their exact location. “If you consider that the busiest routes flying in and out of London are to Paris, London and Edinburgh, being able to fly to those cities without the need of a runway would offset the need to expand Heathrow,” said Fitzpatrick. Creating an air taxi service using Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL’s would take an enormous load off the current air transportation system in Europe, given that many destinations are so close together.
The prototype exhibited last summer was only a “technology demonstrator”. It was piloted remotely, had only one seat, and traveled for five minutes up to 80kph with a weight of 750kg. Vertical Aerospace designed, built, and flight tested the craft all within 12 months. It’s eventual plans are for an aircraft with a capacity of a pilot plus two to four passengers. The final first version should have a range about 100 miles and a top speed of around 150mph.
Why it’s important:
Vertical Aerospace reminds us that it’s possible to create eVTOLs now that comply with existing flight regulations. Full regulations for autonomous air taxis within urban airspace may be a long way off, but the existence of vehicles like Vertical Aerospace’s aircraft will allow new regulations to slowly seep in. Vertical Aerospace’s approach pushes other manufacturers and operators to ask how they can create aircraft that require as little new law as possible.