Aerospace company and electric aviation pioneer Vertical Aerospace has released its financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2022. The company reported a net operating loss of £39.5 million (£48.1 million). dollars), compared to a £22 million ($26.8 million) net loss in the first half of 2021. The largest increase came from research and development expenses, which in 1H 2022 increased to £19.4 million ($23.7m), up from £7.7m ($9.4m) last year.
Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) said the loss “reflected investments to achieve our business objectives.” At the end of June, it had cash and cash equivalents of £158 million ($193 million), which Vertical said was sufficient to “fund its operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements for at least least the next twelve months”. Vertical’s capital plan for 2022 remains on track, with net cash outflows for use in operating activities in the second half expected to be between £40m and £50m ($48m and $61m). of dollars).
American Airlines has agreed to make a prepayment to secure slots for the first 50 of the 350 VX4s on order. Photo: Vertical Aerospace.
Moving on, the VX4 prototype is ready to go
The piloted Vertical VX4 eVTOL is a four-passenger aircraft, capable of flying over 100 miles (160 kilometers). It has a top speed of over 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) at a low cost per passenger mile while producing zero emissions and minimal noise. Without touching on the financial side, founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said:
“I am delighted to share that we have reached a critical technical milestone by completing the construction of our full-scale VX4 prototype, and have now begun to put it through its paces for an intensive multi-month flight test program. .”
Counting orders in the eVTOL industry requires a big calculator and careful reading of the fine print at the bottom of these ads. Vertical makes it clear that it has over 1,400 conditional pre-orders, which it says “demonstrates the market’s confidence in the credibility of Vertical’s design and certification as we aim to enter service in 2025.” American Airlines has ordered up to 350 VX4s and, in an industry first, has committed to pre-delivery payment for delivery slots for its first 50 aircraft.
Other conditional orders, which label aircraft numbers as “until”, include Virgin Atlantic (150), Iberojet (100), Marubeni (200), FLYINGGROUP (50) and Bristow (50). Respected aircraft lessor Avolon has ordered 500 VX4s, which it has already placed with GOL (250), AirAsia (100), Japan Airlines (100) and Gözen Air Services (100). Vertical has a close relationship with Avolon as chairman, Dómhnal Slattery was Avolon’s founding CEO for 12 years, before stepping down in July.
The path to EASA certification
Vertical is following a 6-step plan on its way to EASA VX4 certification and entry into service in 2025. Rendering: Vertical Aerospace
On the way to certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Vertical implemented a six-stage flight test program. The first two stages entitled Construction and Commissioning and Ground Testing have been completed and the third stage, Piloted Flight Permit, is underway. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) carried out a technical visit to Vertical, which included inspection of engineering designs, test data and the aircraft. When the CAA is satisfied with its examination, it issues the pilot flight permit.
Flight testing can then begin, which takes steps four through six, beginning with taut and loose tethered hover flights. These test the VX4’s takeoff and landing stability, flight control systems, vibration, noise, ground effects and battery performance. The fifth stage covers untethered low-speed flight at heights of up to 50 feet (15.2 meters) and at speeds of up to 40 knots. The final stage involves transitioning from hover to cruise in flight and back, at altitudes between 5,000 and 10,000 feet (1,524 and 3,048 meters) at speeds of up to 145 knots.
Getting an eVTOL certified and in the air costs a lot of money, and soon Vertical investors will see if it was worth it. What do you think?