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UK Civil Aviation Authority expands scope of DOA for Vertical Aerospace and agrees certification co-operation with European Union Aviation Safety Agency

10 July 2024
  • Design Organisation Approval (DOA) scope extension shows further confidence from UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Vertical’s engineering capability as it progresses towards Type Certification.
  • CAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) agree how they will collaborate on Vertical's VX4 certification activities.
  • Vertical Aerospace has active certification validation projects across five major regulatory agencies around the world.

LONDON & NEW YORK / Jul 10, 2024 / Business Wire / Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero emissions aviation, today announced that the scope of its Design Organisation Approval (DOA) has been expanded by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The scope extension enables Vertical’s own engineers to sign off compliance of an increasing number of technical areas, including further areas related to the flight control, avionics and electrical systems. Expanding Vertical’s capacity to carry out certification activities streamlines the certification process.

This shows further confidence from the CAA that Vertical has the in-house capability to obtain certification for the VX4 aircraft to the highest aviation safety standards, with safety targets the same as those that large commercial airliners adhere to.

Vertical will now work with the CAA to expand its DOA privileges. This will enable the regulator to rely on Vertical's approval for certain activities, including those required for a Permit to fly for piloted flight tests on the VX4 programme. Vertical will soon complete the assembly of its most advanced full-scale VX4 prototype and will then begin its piloted flight test programme at its Flight Test Centre at Cotswold Airport.

In March 2023, Vertical became the first eVTOL developer to be granted a DOA by the CAA, which authorises Vertical to conduct design activities and issue design approvals within the DOA’s scope of approval – today’s news broadens that scope. A DOA is required to hold a Type Certificate, a prerequisite for an aircraft to enter into commercial service.

At the same time, EASA and the CAA have agreed how they will collaborate on the certification of Vertical's VX4, under the technical implementation procedures agreed as part of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. Whilst both regulators have been working closely already, this sets the foundations for their certification experts to apply common standards and work together towards concurrent certification and validation of the VX4 by both authorities.

In 2023, the CAA announced its intention to adopt EASA’s Means of Compliance to SC-VTOL, the standards against which European and UK manufacturers design eVTOLs.

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace is a global aerospace and technology company pioneering electric aviation.

Vertical is creating a safer, cleaner and quieter way to travel. Vertical's VX4 is a piloted, four passenger, Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with zero operating emissions. Vertical combines partnering with leading aerospace companies, including GKN, Honeywell and Leonardo, with developing its own proprietary battery and propeller technology to develop the world’s most advanced and safest eVTOL.

Vertical has 1,500 pre-orders of the VX4 worth $6bn, with customers across four continents, including Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, GOL and Bristow. Headquartered in Bristol, the epicentre of the UK’s aerospace industry, Vertical was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of the OVO Group, Europe’s largest independent energy retailer.

Vertical's experienced leadership team comes from top tier automotive and aerospace companies such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus, GM and Leonardo. Together they have previously certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that relate to our current expectations and views of future events. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbour provisions for forward-looking statements as contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Any express or implied statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding certification and the commercialization of the VX4 and our ability to achieve regulatory certification of our aircraft product with any of our intended regulators on any particular timeline or at all, the design and manufacture of the VX4, business strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations, the differential strategy compared to our peer group, expectations surrounding pre-orders and commitments, the features and capabilities of the VX4, as well as statements that include the words “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “project,” “forecast,” “estimate,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “will,” “aim,” “potential,” “continue,” “are likely to” and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature. Forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, without limitation: our limited operating history without manufactured non-prototype aircraft or completed eVTOL aircraft customer order; our history of losses and the expectation to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future; the market for eVTOL aircraft being in a relatively early stage; our potential inability to produce, certify or launch aircraft in the volumes or timelines projected; the potential inability to obtain the necessary certifications for production and operation within any projected timeline, or at all; any accidents or incidents involving eVTOL aircraft could harm our business; our dependence on partners and suppliers for the components in our aircraft and for operational needs; the potential that certain strategic partnerships may not materialize into long-term partnership arrangements; all of the preorders received are conditional and may be terminated at any time and any pre-delivery payments may be fully refundable upon certain specified dates; any circumstances; the inability for our aircraft to perform at the level we expect and may have potential defects; any potential failure to effectively manage our growth; our inability to recruit and retain senior management and other highly skilled personnel, our ability to raise additional funds when we need or want them, or at all, to fund our operations; our limited cash and cash equivalents and recurring losses from our operations raise significant doubt (or raise substantial doubt as contemplated by PCAOB standards) regarding our ability to continue as a going concern; and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 14, 2024, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and accordingly undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. We disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than to the extent required by applicable law.

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