Bristow Group Inc, a global provider of vertical flight solutions to government and civil organisations, and Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd, the Bristol-based engineering and aeronautical business pioneering zero-emissions aviation, has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two firms will cooperate on the certification, operational planning and potential purchase of up to 50 electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
In June this year the Bristol-based engineering and aeronautical business developing eVTOL aircraft, announced it had merged with Broadstone Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in order to launch on the New York Stock Exchange.
The transaction will result in Vertical becoming a publicly-traded company, valued at approximately £1.5 billion ($2.2 billion). Vertical will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange following the combination, which is expected to close in the second half of 2021, under the ticker EVTL.
Vertical was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the energy company Ovo Group, which includes Ovo Energy, the UK’s second-biggest energy retailer with revenues of £4.5 billion.
Bristow’s pre-order of 25 aircraft, along with the option for an additional 25, builds on Vertical’s world-leading pre-order book of up to 1,000 aircraft. Along with conditional pre-orders from American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Avolon, this announcement illustrates the sector-wide confidence in Vertical as a leading designer and manufacturer of eVTOL aircraft: the VA-X4. Vertical’s four-passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is expected to have speeds of up to 200 mph (174 knots), a range of more than 100 miles (161+ kilometres), near silent when in flight with zero emissions and low cost per passenger mile.
Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw, said: “Our MOU with Vertical allows us to build upon our leadership position in the vertical transportation market for the past 70+ years and now sets the stage for the disruptive advantages of the VA-X4 with its zero carbon emissions and low operating costs for passenger transport. Our expansion into these new and existing geographic markets with sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services will offer passengers superior regional air mobility solutions.
“As the global leader in vertical lift, Bristow’s operational expertise and efficiency, supported by the trust and confidence of our customers, can safely bring eVTOL aircraft into the market.”
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, added: “Bristow’s global expertise and reach means it is the perfect partner for Vertical as we seek to pioneer the transition to zero emissions flight. We look forward to working with Bristow and accelerating the commercial operation of eVTOLs.”
Under the MOU, the two companies have agreed to develop a joint working group to collaborate on the following areas: regulatory and airspace; demand, fleet size, spare parts and infrastructure; potential customers; and public acceptance and environmental requirements.