Vertical Wins New UK Government Backing to Transform the Future of Flight

vertical aerospace side
  • Vertical wins further vote of confidence from the UK Government
  • New £8 million grant brings total support to £37 million
  • Award puts the UK at the forefront of novel air technology and urban air mobility
  • Vertical will head a consortium of leading technology organisations and research institutions: the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol, Cranfield University and Helitune

Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today announces it has been awarded £8 million ($10 million) in grant funding by the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, to develop its next-generation propellers for use on its VX4 aircraft.

The project is the third awarded to Vertical by the ATI Programme and brings total UK Government grant funding to £37 million ($47 million). This demonstrates a significant vote of confidence in Vertical’s potential to lead the next generation in aviation.

The award puts the UK at the heart of the future global market in urban air mobility, which promises to transform how people move around and between cities, providing a clean, green and low-noise means of travel. Vertical is pioneering these efforts through the VX4, with a new, more advanced and full-scale prototype currently in production.

Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani MP added: “This exciting sustainable propeller project is a fantastic example of our commitment to our world-leading aviation sector, supporting high-skilled, high-paid jobs across the UK while developing technologies of the future.”

“When government and industry collaborate like this, we help our aerospace sector soar to new heights, leading the charge towards net zero air travel by 2050.”

The UK is a global leader in aerospace R&D and manufacturing, continuing its proud history in aviation. This specific project will bring together the UK’s foremost experts and technical partners to further develop Vertical’s eVTOL propellor technology and propulsion system. The final technology will be lower in weight, inertia and noise than their existing propellers, and be delivered to a higher safety standard than any model currently on the market.

“This project will be another major step towards delivering the next generation of novel electric aviation technologies in Britain,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace. “With the support of the ATI Programme and our consortium partners, this project will keep the UK and Vertical at the forefront of aerospace innovation, electric aviation, and urban air mobility.”

This award follows Vertical’s recent announcement that Stephen Fitzpatrick has committed to invest a further $50 million into the business to support the continued development of the aircraft programme. Taken together, Vertical’s announcements over the last month deliver approximately $60 million in additional committed funding.

The total investment into the propeller project is almost £20 million, with Vertical having been awarded over £8 million, representing a contribution of 50% of Vertical’s eligible development costs. A further £3.5 million will be awarded to the other consortium members.

The consortium, led by Vertical, includes world-leading academic institutions: the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol and Cranfield University, and the UK’s helicopter monitoring specialists, Helitune.

Mark Scully, Head of Technology – Propulsion and Advanced Systems, ATI, noted: “The project will see advancements in rotor technologies vital to the success of eVTOL aircraft developed here in the UK growing knowledge, skills and capability in the process. Through this investment the ATI Programme is enabling the development of ultra-efficient and cross-cutting technologies in a competitive global market expected to be worth £24bn to the UK up to 2050, accelerating the delivery of zero-emission aircraft on our journey to Destination Zero.”

The ATI Programme is co-ordinated and managed by the Aerospace Technology Institute, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. Vertical has previously been awarded £26m from the ATI Programme as well as £3m from the Future Flight Challenge. The latest ATI Programme grant brings total UK Government support to £37m.

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: EVTL) is pioneering electric aviation. The Company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the OVO Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have previously certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical received its Design Organisation Approval in 2023 underlining the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s confidence in Vertical’s capability to design a safe and reliable aircraft and aviation-related products to the highest standards.

Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem, including Honeywell Aerospace, Leonardo, Hanwha, Dassault Systèmes, Molicel, and GKN Aerospace, is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allowing for a lean cost structure and enabling production at scale. Vertical has a leading pre-order book from a diverse global customer base, creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include airlines, aircraft lessors, helicopter operators, mobility firms and tourism groups, including American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Kakao Mobility, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.

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