Vertical Aerospace has announced a partnership with Babcock International an aerospace, defense and security company to explore new applications of for its VX4 eVTOL aircraft.
The VX4 has proven demand in the passenger transportation markets from established airline customers
including Virgin Atlantic, aircraft lessors such as Avolon, and helicopter and tourism operators such as
Bristow and Iberojet. With today’s announcement, Vertical and Babcock will set up a Joint Working Group
(JWG) to explore how to use the VX4 in new applications such as aerial EMS and cargo transportation.
The VX4 has the potential to transform these types of operations and reduce their carbon impact at a lower
The piloted zero operating emissions four-passenger VX4, is projected to be capable of travelling distances
over 100 miles, achieving top speeds of over 200mph, while producing minimal noise and having a low cost
per passenger mile.
Babcock has over thirty-five years of experience in EMS, performing thousands of missions every year
globally, and is the largest single operator delivering helicopter emergency services (HEMS) in the UK.
By reducing the medical response time, Babcock not only saves lives, but also significantly minimizes the
long-term effects of injuries. This will include reviewing how to use the VX4 in vital services such as attending
accidents and providing emergency transport between hospitals.
The partnership will also see the two companies working on developing modular MRO capabilities to enable
cost effective maintenance of the aircraft in both remote and challenging environments. The partnership
will also see the two companies working on the development of modular MRO capabilities to maximize
availability and enable cost effective maintenance of the VX4 in service. Leveraging Babcock’s experience
in the defense industry, the partnership will also explore how the eVTOL concept may be expanded in the
future to support the armed forces with medium range logistics delivery and casualty evacuation services.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO, Vertical Aerospace, said “Climate change is the greatest challenge of
our time. As with all other areas, the emergency services and logistics sectors must respond and adapt. I am
delighted that Vertical Aerospace will be able support Babcock, a trusted provider of emergency response
services, in their efforts to decarbonize their operations.”
Phil Craig, Managing Director of UK Aviation at Babcock, added: “Partnering with Vertical Aerospace not
only enables us to harness our extensive digital and data expertise across Babcock, but also our reputation
as a trusted MRO provider with a highly skilled workforce. As a business, we’re committed to reducing our
carbon footprint and this partnership is an exciting step into the world of electric aircrafts. Exploring VX4’s
technological capabilities allows us to understand how it can be used to deliver critical care and logistical
support in challenging environments with zero emissions.”
Why it matters: eVTOL platforms offer an opportunity to disrupt the emergency medical services and logistics sectors as demonstrated by this partnership and others of its kind throughout the industry. Babcock’s experience will complement Vertical’s VX4 and potentially the two can bring to market a transformed transportation experience for EMS responses.