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Vertical focuses on UK vertiport network
Vertical and Ferrovial aim to rollout electric flight infrastructure across the UK to support VA-X4 air taxi operations. Additional investment from Mudrick should boost efforts to achieve aircraft certification.
Vertical has conditional pre-orders for up to 1,350 aircraft worth $5.4 billion.

Vertical Aerospace has signed an agreement with global infrastructure operator Ferrovial to create a network of 25 vertiports across the UK. Vertiports, dedicated sites for the take off, landing and recharging of eVTOL aircraft, will be integrated with other modes of transport to offer efficient travel and increase connectivity to cities and regions across the UK. Vertical will now work with Ferrovial to locate and design the network, from which Vertical's piloted four passenger VA-X4 aircraft will operate proposed UK services with Virgin Atlantic.

Ferrovial invests, develops and operates 33 airports around the world, including in the UK as a shareholder of Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports. Vertical CEO and founder Stephen Fitzpatrick says: "Our partnership with Ferrovial is an important step forward in bringing the VA-X4 to the skies. Creating the right infrastructure for zero emissions aviation is a critical part in making urban air mobility a reality. I look forward to flying between Ferrovial's vertiports in the VA-X4 in just a few years' time.”

"The partnership between vertiports and eVTOLs will provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people,” adds Ferrovial CEO Kevin Cox. “This network will boost local economies with a new model of regional connectivity.”

Vertical's focus is the design, build, manufacture and aftersales of its VA-X4, a 200mph eVTOL aircraft that flies for over 100 miles in near silence and at a cost slightly higher than that of a taxi. It is targeting safety certification standards in line with the CAA and EASA expected regulations, equivalent to that a passenger jet, and expects to be certified by 2024.

The company is collaborating with London Heathrow airport to explore the launch of VA-X4 services from the mid 2020s. In its recent report, the Future of Advanced Aerial Mobility, Vertical explains how passengers arriving at Heathrow could then hop by VA-X4 to Cambridge in just 28 minutes, compared with a 90 minute taxi or a two hour train journey.

Other future VA-X4 operators include American Airlines, JAL, Bristow Group, Gol, Marubeni and Iberojet. Total conditional pre-orders have been placed for up to 1,350 units worth an estimated $5.4 billion.

The net funding requirement to certify the VA-X4, develop a manufacturing facility, build out Vertical's commercial platform and scale production is expected to be around $250 million. Along with earlier finance secured through Broadstone, which now includes an extra $5 million from Kouros SA, a firm specialising in investments to decarbonise transport and energy production, Vertical expects to have liquidity in excess of this requirement thanks to over $200 million in additional financing from Mudrick Capital Management.

Mudrick founder and CIO Jason Mudrick says: "Vertical is led by an exceptional team, developing an innovative aircraft, that has created an unrivalled partner ecosystem with what we believe is the largest announced conditional pre-order book in the industry. With this investment, the company now has the proper capitalisation to bring electric flight into commercial operation by the middle of this decade and move towards high-scale production. Vertical is on the right side of the movement towards net zero, cutting carbon by reducing reliance on short-haul flights and other modes of transport. This is essential, and it is a key consideration in our investment.”

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