Vertical Aerospace is teaming up with fellow UK company Babcock International to explore a range of potential deployment scenarios of Vertical’s VX4 electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, including cargo transport, defense operations, and emergency medical services (EMS).
The joint project will rely on Babcock’s deep experience in aerospace, defense, and security activities to examine effective diversification potentials of Vertical’s VX4 eVTOL, whose primary operation will be as an air taxi. The effort not only seeks to multiply the range of clients and services the battery-powered craft may appeal to but also vastly reduce carbon emissions by many emergency and search and rescue units – including those at Babcock – that often rely on helicopters.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time,” noted Vertical CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick. “As with all other areas, the emergency services and logistics sectors must respond and adapt. I am delighted that Vertical Aerospace will be able [to] support Babcock, a trusted provider of emergency response services, in their efforts to decarbonize their operations.”
While Vertical’s eVTOL plane has been ordered by air transport companies like Virgin Atlantic, lessors Avolon, and tourism operators such as Bristow and Iberoje, the VX4 is now also being considered for non-air taxi services like EMS as well. Similarly, earlier this week, rival company Eve Mobility deepened its participation with BAE to explore military and security deployment of the craft it has developed primarily for air taxi use.
In addition to potential contributions to the over 82,000 EMS operations it oversees each year, Babcock will examine how the VX4 eVTOL might figure in its other security activities. It will also provide a bridge for Vertical to other actors in the defense and emergency response sector.
As part of their partnership, the companies will work on developing modular maintenance, repair, and overhaul capabilities aiming to maximize availability and enable cost effective servicing of the VX4.
“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, Babcock’s managing director of UK Aviation. “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.”