Advanced Air Mobility News

Vertical Postpones VX4 Certification to 2026, Reports Q1 Loss

Vertical Postpones VX4 Certification to 2026, Reports Q1 Loss

Vertical Aerospace, the British eVTOL manufacturer, has pushed back the certification target for its VX4 electric aircraft to 2026. 

The revelation coincided with the company’s financial results for the first quarter of 2023, which saw it post a net loss of £23 million (USD$28.9 million). 

Initially hoping to have it certificated by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 2025, the company attributed the postponement to a host of reasons, including “factors out of our control” such as technology testing.

Despite shifting its certification timeline, Vertical remains convinced it will be one of the first eVTOL developers to enter the market. 

“We have achieved so much in this first quarter. I am so proud of the team as we were granted our Design Organisation Approval from the CAA affirming our home regulator’s confidence in our capabilities,” Vertical founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said after admitting at the recent Revolution.Aero conference in Dublin that he expected the VX4 to be flying earlier.

Vertical is not the only manufacturer that has delayed the commercial launch of its eVTOL. In 2022, Joby also postponed its commercial operation from 2024 to 2025 citing regulatory and internal issues.

“While we have revised our target certification date, the diligence and precision of the scoping work gives us ever more confidence that our strategy is the right one, and that we will be one of the first movers in the eVTOL market,” Fitzpatrick said.

Vertical’s Q1 loss in 2023 was £23 million (USD$29 million), higher than the £18 million (USD$22.6 million) it recorded in the first three months of 2022. 

The operating loss was the result of the advancements made in the company’s battery technology, the establishment of the Vertical Energy Centre, obtaining a Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the CAA, and the various designs and tests required for the VX4 prototype.

Vertical still has cash and cash equivalents of £104 million (USD$130 million), which will be utilized for designing, testing, and certificating the VX4 eVTOL. It will also be used to support the everyday operations of the company. 

The VX4 can carry up to four passengers and travel distances of 100 miles at a cruise speed of 150 mph (241 kph). The aircraft also produces zero operating emissions and emits minimal noise. 

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