There is a pletho­ra of Urban Air Mobil­i­ty-relat­ed news flow­ing from the pan­theon trade stands of Farn­bor­ough this week and Ver­ti­cal Aero­space is no excep­tion. To sup­port the company’s high­ly impres­sive full-size VX4 Air­craft on dis­play, their news sto­ries this week have been show­ered over the media like gold-plat­ed con­fet­ti.

Here are two more exam­ples released yes­ter­day.

First-off, is the news that Mike Fle­witt, a for­mer CEO of McLaren Auto­mo­tive, has joined Vertical’s Board of Direc­tors. The press release says, “An expe­ri­enced leader in the world of auto­mo­tive inno­va­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing, Mike fur­ther strength­ens Vertical’s lead­er­ship team which draws from indus­try experts in avi­a­tion, auto­mo­tive and tech­nol­o­gy sec­tors. Mike will join the Board’s Audit and Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Com­mit­tees.”

It goes on, “Mike is join­ing the Ver­ti­cal Board hav­ing stepped down from McLaren Auto­mo­tive in Octo­ber 2021 after eight years lead­ing the group. He was instru­men­tal in dri­ving McLaren Automotive’s growth to become one of the world’s lead­ing lux­u­ry super­car brands.”

Mike Fle­witt

And con­tin­ues, “Pri­or to join­ing McLaren, Mike spent nine years at Ford as both Vice Pres­i­dent, Man­u­fac­tur­ing, Ford Europe, and Cor­po­rate Offi­cer, Ford Motor Com­pa­ny. Before join­ing Ford, he held senior man­u­fac­tur­ing and oper­a­tions roles at TWR Group Lim­it­ed, AutoNo­va AB (Vol­vo) and Rolls-Royce and Bent­ley Motor Cars Lim­it­ed.”

Domh­nal Slat­tery, Ver­ti­cal Chair­man, com­ment­ed, “Mike’s expe­ri­ence across the auto­mo­tive indus­try will be crit­i­cal to the next phas­es of our jour­ney, play­ing a key role in enabling the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of our rev­o­lu­tion­ary VX4 air­craft.”

Michael Fle­witt, added, “Ver­ti­cal is at the fore­front of inno­va­tion in the avi­a­tion indus­try, and I am delight­ed to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work along­side the team in their efforts to grow, progress, and lead the change in zero emis­sions flight.”

Fol­low­ing this appoint­ment, the Ver­ti­cal Board now com­pris­es: Dómh­nal Slat­tery as Non-Exec­u­tive Chair­man; Inde­pen­dent Non-Exec­u­tive Direc­tors Kathy Cas­sidy, Gur Kim­chi and Mike Fle­witt; Non-Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Mar­cus Waley-Cohen; and Exec­u­tive Direc­tors Stephen Fitz­patrick (Founder & CEO), Har­ry Holt (Deputy CEO), Vin­cent Casey (CFO) and Michael Cer­ven­ka (Pres­i­dent).

Sec­ond­ly, CAE, a mar­ket leader in flight sim­u­la­tion and train­ing, has announced it will be the pilot train­ing part­ner for Vertical’s launch eVTOL air­craft, the VX4.

CAE is to design and devel­op a train­ing pro­gram to become “the exclu­sive train­ing device provider, tai­lor­ing the high-fideli­ty, next-gen­er­a­tion flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing device for the VX4 air­craft.”

The press release states, “The inno­v­a­tive pilot train­ing pro­gram will lever­age advanced tech­nolo­gies includ­ing Mixed Real­i­ty and Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence to enhance the learn­ing expe­ri­ence and will help shift the train­ing par­a­digm toward cost-effec­tive­ness and scal­a­bil­i­ty, while ensur­ing safe­ty is para­mount for Ver­ti­cal and its oper­a­tors.”

Har­ry Holt, Nick Leon­tidis

Upon the agree­ment sign­ing, Ver­ti­cal and CAE will begin work­ing togeth­er three years ahead of the VX4’s tar­get­ed entry into ser­vice in 2025.

The release con­tin­ues, “Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty (AAM) is expect­ed to dri­ve unprece­dent­ed demand for qual­i­fied, pro­fes­sion­al­ly trained pilots for inner-city and region­al elec­tric flights. Addi­tion­al­ly, because CAE cur­rent­ly pro­vides train­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices to many of Vertical’s indus­try-lead­ing cus­tomer base, a smoother inte­gra­tion of new AAM pilot train­ing pro­grammes into their train­ing port­fo­lios is antic­i­pat­ed.”

Har­ry Holt, Deputy CEO of Ver­ti­cal, com­ment­ed, “Ver­ti­cal has built its com­mer­cial ecosys­tem with cus­tomers, reg­u­la­tors, and infra­struc­ture part­ners to enable AAM and ensure we have part­ner­ships in place to intro­duce safer, clean­er and qui­eter mobil­i­ty for every­one. Bring­ing CAE into our unri­valled ecosys­tem is a key enabler to solve the train­ing require­ment for our cus­tomers, as we pre­pare for the VX4’s entry into ser­vice.”

Nick Leon­tidis, CAE’s Group Pres­i­dent of Civ­il Avi­a­tion, added, “CAE’s long­stand­ing train­ing rela­tion­ships with top-tier air­lines and oper­a­tors is a key dif­fer­en­tia­tor for us as they expand into eVTOL oper­a­tions with Ver­ti­cal. They know they can count on CAE for advanced train­ing as they ven­ture into this new mar­ket. We are excit­ed to join Vertical’s ecosys­tem and work hand in hand to build the avi­a­tion work­force of the future.”

These lat­est announce­ments fol­low on from a series of Ver­ti­cal break­ing news sto­ries includ­ing Amer­i­can Air­lines con­firm­ing deliv­ery slots and the com­mit­ment of asso­ci­at­ed pre-deliv­ery pay­ments; 50 con­di­tion­al pre-orders from FLYINGGROUP, tak­ing Vertical’s indus­try-lead­ing pre-order book by val­ue to more 1,400 VX4s amount­ing to approx­i­mate­ly USD5.6 bil­lion in expect­ed rev­enue; in addi­tion to part­ner­ships with Bab­cock Inter­na­tion­al for the explo­ration of appli­ca­tions of the VX4 with­in Emer­gency Med­ical Ser­vices (EMS); and a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Moli­cel as its bat­tery provider.

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