Vertical Aerospace and the Bristow Group have signed a Memornadum of Understanding (MOU) to work in partnership to electrify the helicopter market for a new era of travel.

Bristow Group Inc is a global provider of vertical flight solutions to government and civil organisations, and Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd is a British engineering and aeronautical business pioneering zero-emissions aviation. Under the MOU, the two firms will cooperate on the certification, operational planning and potential purchase of up to 50 eVTOL aircraft. The two companies have agreed to develop a joint working group to collaborate on areas including regulatory and airspace; demand, fleet size, spare parts and infrastructure; potential customers; and public acceptance and environmental requirements.

VA-X4 can carry four passengers

Vertical has developed the VA-X4, a piloted electric, zero carbon operating emissions, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft capable of carrying four passengers with a top speed of up to 200 mph (174 knots) and a range of 100+ miles (161+ kilometres).

Bristow will lend more than 70 years of transport expertise to identify efforts towards regulatory certification, infrastructure and environmental requirements for the VA-X4. Companies will explore commercial taxi flights in new and emerging markets for Bristow operations using the Vertical VA-X4 aircraft in various geographic locations.

Vertical expects to deliver 25 eVTOL aircraft to Bristow initially with the option for another 25 aircraft. Bristow’s pre-order of 25 aircraft, along with the option for an additional 25, builds on Vertical’s pre-order book of up to 1,000 aircraft. Conditional pre-orders have also been received from American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Avolon. The VA-X4 is near silent when in flight with zero emissions and low cost per passenger mile.

“Setting the stage for disruptive advantages”

Bristow president and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw said: “Our MOU with Vertical allows us to build upon our leadership position in the vertical transportation market for the past 70 plus 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.”

“As the global leader in vertical lift, Bristow’s operational expertise and efficiency, supported by the trust and confidence of our customers, can safely bring eVTOL aircraft into the market.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace added: “Bristow’s global expertise and reach means it is the perfect partner for Vertical as we seek to pioneer the transition to zero emissions flight. We look forward to working with Bristow and accelerating the commercial operation of eVTOLs.”


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