American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic order electric air taxis from UK startup – LSMedia

Vertical Aerospace, a UK electric aircraft manufacturer, has won the backing of American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft in its bid to make urban air travel a reality.

The startup revealed on Thursday that it has pre-orders for up to 1,000 of its zero-emissions VA-X4 vertical takeoff aircraft, worth as much as $4 billion, as it announced plans to go public in New York via a merger with blank check firm Broadstone Acquisition Corp. The VA-X4 will travel at speeds over 200 miles per hour and be “near silent” when in flight, according to the company. A prototype of the aircraft, which has a range of over 100 miles, is currently in production and the first test flight is planned for later this year. American Airlines (AAL) has agreed to pre-order up to 250 aircraft, with an option for an additional 100. Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Avolon has pre-orders and options for 500 aircraft, while Virgin…

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