Another player in the bustling advanced air mobility sector has staked out a corner of Wall Street, with London-based electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) plane manufacturer Vertical Aerospace completing its $300 million New York Stock Exchange floatation today.
Maker of the four-passenger VX4 eVTOL plane, Vertical Aerospace joins other sector competitors like Joby, Lilium, and Archer in introducing its shares on Wall Street. As with virtually all sector rivals that have undertaken stock flotations, Vertical used a Special Purpose Acquisition Company scheme that companies and investors alike have come to favor in getting promising companies listed and trading with reduced delay and little administrative fuss.
Trading under the ticker EVTL, the firm’s new shares should generate over $300 million – a good deal more than the $250 million Vertical says it needs to obtain European certification of the VX4 by 2024. It says it will launch production shortly after that.
The NYSE floatation marks another big step in Vertical’s corporate development – in October, it revealed it had raised $205 million in new funding from Mudrick Capital. Around the same time, the company announced it had signed accords with London’s Heathrow Airport to study the integration and use of its craft at Europe’s biggest passenger air platform. Then, just last week, Vertical introduced a prototype of its eVTOL plane, which it renamed to the shortened VX4.
That craft – which begins testing soon – will be capable of operating both shorter air taxi services and medium-distance flights. The VX4 will have a maximum range of 100 miles and fly at top speeds of 202 mph. Vertical’s eVTOL plane will have room for four passengers and a pilot (when not in automated mode), produce no emissions, and offer nearly silent operation – 100 times quieter than a helicopter, according to the company.
An electric propulsion system for the VX4 is being developed by Rolls-Royce, with initial deliveries expected in 2022. Other partners in Vertical’s eTVOL plane program include Honeywell Aerospace, which is providing flight controls and avionics, the Bristow Group, and Microsoft.
With 1,350 conditional orders worth $5.4 billion on the books, Vertical says its eVTOL plane has generated the largest customer demand of any craft of its kind. Clients include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Marubeni, Iberoject, and Avolon – and through its orders, airlines JAL and Gol.
With the Wall Street flotation complete and funds raised for further development flowing in, Vertical founder CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick believes all systems are go for the VX4’s commercial takeoff around mid-decade.
“This listing is a landmark moment for Vertical Aerospace,” he said today. “We have global leaders in aviation as partners and a world-class team that can make zero emissions flight a reality for millions of people around the world. It is fantastic to reach this milestone and I am so proud of what the team has achieved.”
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