American Airlines has committed to delivery slots and a pre-delivery payment for 50 VX4 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft from U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace, the electric aircraft maker announced Friday.
The U.S. carrier initially announced a $25 million investment in Vertical in June 2021, in which it also agreed to pre-order up to 250 vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, representing a potential pre-order commitment of $1 billion, and an option to order an additional 100 aircraft.
American’s investment was part of Vertical becoming a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021 via special purchase acquisition company Broadstone Acquisition Corp. At the time of the listing, other investors in the company included Avolon, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Microsoft’s M12 venture fund, Kouros, 40North and Rocket, according to Vertical, which was founded in 2016.
The VX4 aircraft is expected to be capable of transporting a pilot and up to four passengers for distances of “over 100 miles” and achieving top speeds of over 200 miles per hour while producing minimal noise and zero operating emissions, according to Vertical.
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