- David brings over thirty years’ unparalleled experience in the aerospace engineering sector, having previously held senior roles at Leonardo and Bell
- At Vertical, David will be responsible for the technical development and overall performance of Vertical’s electric aircraft, the VX4
Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today announces it has further strengthened its executive leadership team with the appointment of David King as Chief Engineer. David joins in February 2023 and will be responsible for the technical development and overall performance of the Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft, supervising every phase of the project from start to completion.
David previously spent seven years as Chief Engineer on the AW609 VTOL aircraft developed by tier-one aerospace supplier, Leonardo, a strategic partner of Vertical. David built and managed a new engineering organisation at Leonardo Helicopter’s US subsidiary, to modernise the AW609 design, initiate production, and advance FAA certification of the world’s first commercial tiltrotor. The AW609 is set to be the first new category aircraft to be certified in over 50 years. The AW609 has demonstrated unmatched vertical lift capability for the commercial market which will be critical experience as David translates this expertise to the VX4.
King has also held senior roles at both Leonardo and aircraft manufacturer Bell Aircraft, where he was Chief Engineer and launched Bell’s newest commercial helicopter design and certification project, the Bell 525 Relentless. David has vast experience developing and validating innovative technologies for VTOL aircraft with tilting rotor systems and wing-borne cruise, dating back to his integrated product team leadership role in developing the revolutionary Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor.
David has extensive global certification experience that he will bring to bear on the VX4, spanning the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical, commented, “As we approach the next phase of our journey to the skies, I am thrilled to welcome David on board. His unparalleled experience in the design and certification of VTOL aircraft will propel us forward on the next stage of our mission to transform the way we travel.”
David King said, “From my time at Leonardo, I have already seen first-hand the pioneering work Vertical is doing. The pragmatic approach they have taken with the design and certification of the VX4 will pave the way to success and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the team in their efforts to revolutionise air travel.”
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.
Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for more than 1,400 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. Customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni, Iberojet and FLYINGGROUP, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Air Greenland, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements.
Having been issued with its Permit to Fly from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority in September 2022, Vertical’s VX4 prototype has successfully undertaken piloted flight tests. The flight test programme will continue over the coming months, reaching higher altitudes and speeds, as well as demonstrating the transition from vertical to horizontal flight.
Vertical’s ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the NYSE in December 2021 under the tickers “EVTL” and “EVTLW,” respectively.
About the VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The VX4 is projected to be capable of transporting a pilot and up to four passengers, traveling distances of 100 miles, and achieving top speeds of over 200 miles per hour, while producing minimal noise and zero operating emissions. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com
Vertical Media Kit
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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 the certification and the commercialization of the VX4 and related timelines, Mr King’s impact on Vertical’s technical development and performance as its Chief Engineer, expectations surrounding pre-orders and commitments, the features and capabilities of the VX4, the transition towards a net-zero emissions economy, expected financial performance and operational performance for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022, 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: Vertical’s limited operating history without manufactured non-prototype aircraft or completed eVTOL aircraft customer order; Vertical’s 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; the potential inability of Vertical to produce or launch aircraft in the volumes and on timelines projected; the potential inability of Vertical to obtain the necessary certifications on the timelines projected; any accidents or incidents involving eVTOL aircraft could harm Vertical’s business; Vertical’s dependence on partners and suppliers for the components in its aircraft and for operational needs; the potential that certain of Vertical’s strategic partnerships may not materialize into long-term partnership arrangements; pre-orders Vertical has received for its aircraft are conditional and may be terminated at any time in writing prior to certain specified dates; any potential failure by Vertical to effectively manage its growth; the impact of COVID-19 on Vertical’s business; Vertical has identified material weaknesses in its internal controls over financial reporting and may be unable to remediate the material weaknesses; Vertical’s dependence on our senior management team and other highly skilled personnel; as a foreign private issuer Vertical follows certain home country corporate governance rules, is not subject to U.S. proxy rules and is subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company; 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 April 29, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in Vertical’s 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. Vertical disclaims 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.