Bristow Group and the UK’s Vertical Aerospace Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on the certification and potential purchase of up to 50 eVTOLs. Under the deal, Bristow would place a pre-order for 25 of Vertical’s VA-X4 four-passenger aircraft that are capable of speeds to 174 knots and a range of more than 87 nm.
Bristow’s commitment adds to Vertical’s pre-order book of 1,000 aircraft from potential customers, including American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Avolon. Under the MOU, the two companies have agreed to develop a joint working group to collaborate on regulatory and airspace; demand, fleet size, spare parts and infrastructure; potential customers; and public acceptance and environmental requirements.
“As the global leader in vertical lift, Bristow’s operational expertise and efficiency, supported by the trust and confidence of our customers, can safely bring eVTOL aircraft into the market,” said Bristow CEO Chris Bradshaw.
This is Bristow’s second electric aircraft deal in less than a month. In late August, the company announced it had signed an MOU with Electra Aero for the purchase of up to 50 of that company’s hybrid-electric STOL airplanes for entry into service beginning in 2026. "Our expansion into these new and existing geographic markets with sustainable, innovative, and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services will offer passengers superior regional air mobility solutions,” said Bradshaw.