Bristow, September 21, 2021 - HOUSTON, USA and BRISTOL, England - Bristow Group Inc, the world's leading global provider of vertical flight solutions to government and civil organizations, and Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd, a British engineering and aeronautical business pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today 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 eVTOL aircraft.
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.
"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," said Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw.
"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."
"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," said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace.
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.
About Bristow Group: Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: VTOL) is the leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions. Bristow primarily provides aviation services to a broad base of major integrated, national and independent offshore energy companies. Bristow provides commercial search and rescue (SAR) services in several countries and public sector SAR services in the United Kingdom (U.K.) on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Additionally, the Company offers ad hoc helicopter and fixed wing transportation services. Bristow currently has customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad, the U.K. and the U.S.
About Vertical Aerospace: Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy group and Europe's largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,200 combined years of experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.
Vertical's unrivalled top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification, allow for a lean cost structure, and enable production at scale. Vertical has received conditional pre-orders for over 1,000 aircraft from American Airlines and Avolon, including a pre-order option from Virgin Atlantic and in doing so is creating multiple near term and actionable routes to market.