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British answer to Elon Musk, Stephen Fitzpatrick becomes a millionaire in a flying taxi float in vertical aerospace

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Ondon Serial Entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick won a clear award today billionaire Status after his Blade Runner style flying electric taxi business It was started We float He values ​​his stock at about $ 1 billion.

Fitzpatrick’s Float’s reputation for his vertical aerospace business adds to the £ 600m value of his stake in Ovo, the fast-growing green energy provider he founded and operates. ..

Vertical aerospace is designing and building electricity aircraft He claims that it is faster, faster, and more environmentally friendly than a helicopter, but has the same variety of places where it can take off and land.

Fitzpatrick gains status rapidly United Kingdomof Elon Musk He told Standard: “Today is a great day for us and a great day for business and engineering in the UK. It’s great to be able to make this announcement and tell the world what we’ve been doing over the last few years. All the progress and work we put into it. “

Founded five years ago, the company has developed a 200 mph aircraft capable of carrying four passengers and pilots in the range of up to 120 mph. It’s also quiet and you may easily get permission to fly over residential areas.

The tycoon highlights a Bristol-based business in the United States through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded by British entrepreneur Hugh Osmond. The deal will value Vertical Aerospace’s stake at $ 2.2 billion and raise $ 394 million to hire new staff and build manufacturing facilities.

He today announced orders for up to 1000 aircraft from American Airlines and the plane leasing giant Abolon.

Virgin Atlantic has also signed a pre-order option for passengers flying to Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports.

In total, the three orders total $ 4 billion.

Fitzpatrick said Vertical Aerospace was a British engineering champion, but had to choose to go public in the United States. “England capital At this time, the market doesn’t really support this kind of business. “

“I want to change that, but at this point it’s clear that the US ecosystem is far more advanced.

“We have raised nearly $ 500 million for our pre-earning business, but unfortunately it has often been seen in the United Kingdom that raising such capital is not easy. Has a deep capital market. “

He added: “Biotechnology and fintech are better here, but other than these two, the UK has not developed the same kind of expertise.”

He emphasized that the Spac team, led by Osmond, is made up of British entrepreneurs. “We liked the idea of ​​working with entrepreneurs, not just corporate lenders,” he said.

According to Virgin, passengers using vertical take-off and landing aircraft can travel 56 miles from Cambridge to Heathrow in just 22 minutes instead of facing the current hour and a half car journey. ..

As part of the float, vertical aerospace technology partners such as American Airlines, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell will invest to strengthen relationships that bear much of Vertical’s R & D costs.

This “asset light” business model means that Vertical could reach a break-even point in profits and cash flow with the sale of less than 100 aircraft, the company said in a Spac proposal to investors. I am.

Technology investors Rocket Internet and 40 North are also major investors.

Other companies working on vertical engineering include the British giant GKN.

It is scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2024 after approval by European aircraft regulators.

Vertical aerospace is tested by regulators to strict commercial airline standards. The company says it will make the aircraft “100 times” safer than a helicopter.

With four propellers, engineers claim that they are less likely to fail catastrophically than a single conventional propeller helicopter.

Fitzpatrick’s decision to choose a US SPAC rather than a company in London would be disappointing to Downing Street, which wants the UK to be a preferred destination for UK technology financing.

American Airlines is one of its big new investors, but Vertical is a very British company, with top engineering teams primarily selected from Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover and the Ministry of Defense.

Fitzpatrick said: “Transportation, especially flight, is about to undergo the biggest changes since electrification and the UK’s jet engine. The UK led the aviation industry at the dawn of the jet era. The UK is now in the process of manufacturing electric aircraft. I’m really sure it’s the best place in the world. “

Vertical’s current factory is in Bristol, but another factory will need to be built to expand production. Fitzpatrick said it hasn’t yet been decided where it is.

The unmanned test flight will then begin later this year in a pilot version.

Spac consists of a merger with a shell company founded by PizzaExpress entrepreneur Hugh Osmond’s Broadstone investment vehicle.

Osmond said: “Transportation is one of the next big sectors of the world economy, which is in great turmoil.

“Vertical has a clear commercial plan to take on short-haul air travel and create new markets where neither automobiles nor public transport can meet demand.”

British answer to Elon Musk, Stephen Fitzpatrick becomes a millionaire in a flying taxi float in vertical aerospace

Source link British answer to Elon Musk, Stephen Fitzpatrick becomes a millionaire in a flying taxi float in vertical aerospace

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