Vertical Vx4 eVTOL Certification Pushed To Late 2026

 - May 9, 2023, 12:29 PM
Vertical Aerospace has conducted tethered flight tests with a technology demonstrator version of its VX4 eVTOL. (Image: Vertical Aerospace)

Vertical Aerospace expects it will need at least an additional 12 months to certify its VX-4 eVTOL. In a letter to shareholders marking the end of the first quarter, the UK-based public company said a review of the program timeline has resulted in a decision by the management team to target certification by late 2026. Vertical previously indicated the four-passenger vehicle could be approved in 2025.

The letter summarized ongoing work with air safety regulators in the UK, Europe, the U.S., and Japan, indicating that gaps in regulatory requirements partly explain the need to take more time. “While we apply both new and already-proven technology to these novel aircraft, we do not have a rulebook to follow that sets the highest standards of safety­—the same as large-transport-category airplanes,” they stated. “We believe this is necessary to win the trust of passengers.”

As of March 31, the company had cash reserves totaling £104 million ($131 million), which is markedly less than several other frontrunners in the race to bring an eVTOL to market. It also reported a £23 million operating loss in the quarter. Vertical said its current funding is sufficient to “achieve our goals throughout 2023 and 2024,” though it conceded that a further round of fundraising will be started this year.