Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Vertical Aerospace, Babcock team up to explore new uses for the VX4 air taxi

Vertical Aerospace is teaming up with fellow UK company Babcock International to explore the range of new applications for vertical’s VX electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, including cargo transport, defense operations, and emergency medical services.

The joint project will rely on Babcock’s deep experience in aerospace, defense, and security activities to examine the effective diversification potentials of Vertical’s VX4 eVTOL, whose primary operation will be as an air taxi. The VX4 has the potential to transform these types of operations and reduce their carbon impact at a lower overall cost.

The piloted zero operating emissions four-passenger VX4 is projected to be capable of traveling distances over 100 miles (160 km), achieving top speeds of over 200 mph (322 km/h). The eVTOL also boasts of being 100 times quieter than a helicopter at cruise (45 dB) and hover (60 dB) while producing a low cost per passenger mile.

The partnership will also see the two companies working on developing modular MRO capabilities to enable cost-effective maintenance of the aircraft in both remote and challenging environments. Leveraging Babcock’s experience in the defense 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.

“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,” said Phil Craig, Managing Director of UK Aviation at Babcock. “As a business, we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and this partnership is an exciting step into the world of electric aircrafts. 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 Aerospace said it has the top pre-order book in the industry by value, selling 1,350 VX4 air taxis, worth around $5.4 billion. Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL is scheduled to enter into service in 2025.