Babcock International is to explore new applications for Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 eVTOL aircraft. The two companies will set up a joint working group 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 overall cost.
The VX4 has proven demand in the passenger transportation markets from helicopter and tourism operators such as Bristow and Iberojet, established airline customers including Virgin Atlantic and aircraft lessors such as Avolon. The piloted zero operating emissions, four passenger VX4 is projected to be capable of travelling distances over 100 miles, achieving speeds greater than 200 mph, while producing minimal noise and having a low cost per passenger mile.
Babcock has more than 35 years of experience in EMS, performing thousands of missions every year globally, and is the largest single operator delivering HEMS in the UK. By reducing medical response time, Babcock says it not only saves lives, but also significantly minimises 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 companies working on developing modular MRO capabilities to enable maintenance of the aircraft in remote and challenging environments. They will work on the development of modular MRO capabilities to maximise availability and enable cost effective maintenance of the VX4 in service. Leveraging Babcock’s experience in the defence 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.
Babcock MD UK aviation Phil Craig says: “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 are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and this partnership is an exciting step into the world of electric aircraft. 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.”
Vertical founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick adds: “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 its efforts to decarbonise its operations.”