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Business Air News Bulletin
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First half financials show Vertical momentum
Vertical plans on spending £80m over the coming 12 months to progress the flight test programme both with crewed tests of its current prototype, and assembly and testing of its upgraded second full-scale VX4.
Vertical has conducted the first untethered flights of the full-scale VX4, received a DOA from the CAA and brought South Korea into launch markets with Kakao Mobility as a new customer.

Vertical Aerospace has released its financial results for the six months ended 30 June, 2023, along with a shareholder letter that is posted to its investor relations website at investor.vertical-aerospace.com.

CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick says: “We have seen fantastic momentum at Vertical in the first half of 2023 across our testing, certification and commercial efforts. We have conducted the first untethered flights of our full-scale VX4, been granted a Design Organisation Approval from the CAA, and brought South Korea into our launch markets, with Kakao Mobility as a new customer.

"We are maintaining our disciplined spend with a £36 million net operating loss for the first half of 2023. Over the next year, from 1 August, 2023 we expect to spend around £80 million. Over this timeframe we will substantially progress our flight test programme both with crewed tests of our current prototype, and assembly and rigorous testing of our upgraded second full-scale VX4.”

First half-year 2023 and recent operational highlights:

- Vertical has continued to advance its flight test activities with progress in its thrustborne flight test campaign (including lifting, hovering, flying and landing vertically by the thrust of the aircraft's propulsion system). The flight tests have included numerous hovers, both tethered and untethered, as well as expanding the low-speed flight envelope with the company's full-scale VX4 prototype aircraft under remotely piloted conditions and powered by its proprietary battery systems.

- Vertical is progressing the build of its second prototype VX4, which will incorporate learnings from tests conducted to date and advancements in its partners' and its own in-house technology.

- Vertical has continued to make progress with its certification activities for the VX4 aircraft, including a detailed familiarisation session with the UK CAA on the aircraft design and certification basis. Further technical discussions are being advanced with the CAA and technical familiarisation sessions with EASA, the FAA and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau are expected before the end of 2023. Additionally, in June 2023, Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) informed the CAA that it has accepted Vertical's application for validation of its type certificate in Brazil, which will enable the company's operations in Brazil.

- In July 2023, Vertical announced the appointment of Stuart Simpson as chief financial officer, joining in September 2023. Simpson is a seasoned leader, most recently serving as the group chief financial officer of Avast, a FTSE 100 company. Previously, Simpson held the roles of interim chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Royal Mail, also a FTSE 100 company. He has a long history in the automotive industry, working for General Motors and Rolls Royce and Bentley Motor Car Company.

- In May 2023, Vertical announced that it is partnering with Kakao Mobility to evaluate and advance commercially sustainable urban air mobility travel solutions in South Korea. Kakao Mobility has agreed to pre-order, subject to certain conditions, up to 50 VX4 aircraft. The parties agreed to establish a joint working group with Kakao Mobility to drive the commercialisation of AAM services in South Korea, including the exploration of network and fleet planning, infrastructure requirements, regulatory development and consumer awareness of eVTOL mobility solutions.

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