Vertical Aerospace is expanding operational mission possibilities of its VX4 eVTOL vehicle under a new partnership with Babcock International, the companies announced on July 18. Vertical and Babcock will establish a joint working group to explore variants for applications such as emergency medical services (EMS) and cargo transportation.
Babcock, which counts 35 years of EMS experience, will provide its expertise in medical response and operations, as well as in support. The working group will examine the use of the VX4 for attending to accidents and providing emergency transport between hospitals, among other services.
Meanwhile, the two companies will jointly develop MRO capabilities that would provide cost-effective maintenance in remote and challenging environments. Other possibilities would include whether the eVTOL could support armed forces with medium-range logistics delivery and casualty evacuation services.
The working group will look at how operators could use the V4X to reduce emissions and overall costs, the companies said.
“As a business, we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and this partnership is an exciting step into the world of electric aircraft,” said Phil Craig, managing director of UK aviation at Babcock. “Exploring V4X’s technological capabilities allows us to understand how it can be used to deliver critical care and logistical support in challenging environments with zero emissions.”
The agreement, announced during this week's Farnborough International Airshow, follows commitments for the VX4 from airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, lessors including Avolon, and helicopter and tourism operators such as Bristow and Iberjet.
Plans call for the VX4, which made its public debut on display in Farnborough, to fly in the upcoming months with entry into service targeted in 2025. Designed for four passengers, the VX4 will fly more than 100 miles and reach a speed of more than 200 mph.