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Engineering appointment gives Vertical lift
Former Leonardo and Bell executive David King will bring 30 years of tiltrotor and certification expertise to the technical development and overall performance of Vertical's VX4 electric aircraft.
Read this story in our January 2023 printed issue.

UK-based aerospace and technology company Vertical Aerospace has further strengthened its executive leadership team with the appointment of David King as chief engineer. King will join the company in February 2023 and will be responsible for the technical development and overall performance of the VX4 electric aircraft, supervising every phase of the project from start to completion.

King previously spent seven years as chief engineer on the AW609 VTOL aircraft developed by tier-one aerospace supplier Leonardo, a strategic partner of Vertical. He built and managed a new engineering organisation at Leonardo Helicopter's US subsidiary to modernise the AW609 design, initiate production and advance FAA certification of the world's first commercial tiltrotor. The AW609 is set to be the first new category aircraft to be certified in over 50 years. The AW609 has demonstrated unmatched vertical lift capability for the commercial market, which will be critical experience as King translates this expertise to the VX4.

King has also held senior roles at both Leonardo and aircraft manufacturer Bell Aircraft, where he was chief engineer and launched Bell's newest commercial helicopter design and certification project, the Bell 525 Relentless. He has vast experience developing and validating innovative technologies for VTOL aircraft with tilting rotor systems and wing-borne cruise, dating back to his integrated product team leadership role in developing the revolutionary Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.

King has extensive global certification experience that he will bring to bear on the VX4, spanning the FAA, Transport Canada, the UK CAA, Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC, and the French civil aviation authority DGAC.

Founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick says: “As we approach the next phase of our journey to the skies, I am thrilled to welcome David on board. His unparalleled experience in the design and certification of VTOL aircraft will propel us forward on the next stage of our mission to transform the way we travel.”

King adds: “From my time at Leonardo, I have already seen first-hand the pioneering work Vertical is doing. The pragmatic approach it has taken with the design and certification of the VX4 will pave the way to success, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the team in its efforts to revolutionise air travel.”

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