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Vertical Announces Further Certification Progress

  • Former EASA Certification Director joins Vertical to help lead regulatory engagement
  • Concurrent EASA and CAA certification agreed
  • CAA approves Vertical’s Form 4 holders as part of DOA approval
  • On track to receive DOA later this year
  • Vertical believes this DOA will be of the widest scope an eVTOL manufacturer will have received to date

Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero emissions aviation, today announces further progress on its path to certification, including the appointment of the former European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Certification Director, Trevor Woods, as Director – Regulatory Affairs.

Concurrent EASA/CAA validation

Vertical is also pleased to announce that EASA has agreed to concurrently validate the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) certification of its VX4 electric VTOL aircraft. In this concurrent validation, the VX4 will be certificated by the UK CAA against their stringent safety standards and in compliance with the similar and equally stringent standards developed by EASA. This means that the certification and validation processes will run simultaneously in both regulatory jurisdictions, paving the way for the VX4 to operate in both the UK and Europe from 2025.

Vertical believes this activity with both the CAA and EASA will also support swift validation of the VX4 by other international regulators, who respect the stringent safety standards imposed by the UK and European regulators.

Vertical is seeking to conduct similar certification validation efforts with other national aviation authorities where Vertical’s customers operate, enabling the VX4 to be flown in these jurisdictions. Vertical has already run project familiarisation workshops with regulators in key territories including Japan, Brazil and Singapore. Vertical will also seek validation by the FAA, enabling entry into service with US operators.

Certification Progress

Vertical’s certification programme is progressing rapidly as it targets entry into service in 2025. Vertical has submitted its certification basis proposal, based on EASA’s established SC-VTOL certification basis. Vertical expects to have this agreed with the CAA later this year.

Vertical has also received notice that its three key nominated managers (Form 4 Holders) have been accepted by the regulator as competent to hold the roles. These approved managers are necessary for Vertical to be granted Design Organisation Approval (DOA).

DOA (equivalent to the FAA’s Organization Designation Authorization or ODA) is the approval from the regulator that an aerospace company is certified as being competent and responsible to hold a Type Certificate. Vertical’s DOA, when granted, will cover the full scope required to hold a Type Certificate for a commercial passenger carrying winged eVTOL.

Vertical believes this will be of the widest scope an eVTOL manufacturer will have received to date, giving Vertical a competitive edge when progressing towards Type Certification. A Type Certificate is a formal recognition from the certifying authority that the design of the aircraft is in compliance with all applicable airworthiness requirements. Vertical expects to receive DOA from the UK regulator later this year and this will be the first formal recognition from the CAA confirming Vertical’s competency as a VTOL design organisation and eventually as a Type Certificate holder.

Trevor Woods, Vertical’s Director – Regulatory Affairs, said “I am delighted to join Vertical, the eVTOL manufacturer that, I believe, has the edge on its competitors. Its considerable in-house engineering expertise matched with its unrivalled industrial partnerships from proven tier-one aerospace suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, GKN and Leonardo lend significant momentum to its certification efforts. I, myself, am looking forward to flying in the VX4 at the earliest opportunity."

Paul Harper, Head of Certification at Vertical, said “To have someone with Trevor’s experience join the team is a boost for us and our certification efforts. We are pleased with the status of our certification programme and look forward to reaching a number of meaningful milestones in our activity over the coming months, including the launch of our test flight campaign.”

Vertical’s key accountable managers are Eric Samson, Head of Engineering; Paul Harper, Head of Certification and Paul Cotton, Head of Independent Systems Monitoring.

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace 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. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems. Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. These customers are American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni and Iberojet, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements. Vertical’s ordinary shares listed on the NYSE in December 2021 under the ticker “EVTL”. Find out more:

About VX4 eVTOL Aircraft

The four passenger, one pilot VX4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.

Vertical Media Kit

Available here

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any express or implied statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the certification and the commercialization of the VX4, the differential strategy compared to its peer group, and the transition towards a net-zero emissions economy, as well as statements that include the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “project,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “will,” “aim,” “potential,” “continue,” “are likely to” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature. Forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, without limitation, Vertical’s limited operating history without manufactured non-prototype aircraft or completed eVTOL aircraft customer order; Vertical’s history of losses and the expectation to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future; the market for eVTOL aircraft being in a relatively early stage; the potential inability of Vertical to produce or launch aircraft in the volumes and on timelines projected; the potential inability of Vertical to obtain the necessary certifications on the timelines projected; the potential that certain of Vertical’s strategic partnerships may not materialize into long-term partnership arrangements; the impact of COVID-19 on Vertical’s business; as a foreign private issuer and intend to follow certain home country corporate governance rules, Vertical not be subject to U.S. proxy rules and will be subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company; and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Vertical’s prospectus pursuant to Rule 424(b) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on December 1, 2021, as such factors may be updated from time to time in Vertical’s other filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and accordingly undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Vertical disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than to the extent required by applicable.


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