Vertical hires renowned test pilot as it enters next phase of development

Paines will commence flight tests of VA-X4 in 2022
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 2:00 AM AKDT

BRISTOL, United Kingdom, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Vertical Aerospace ("Vertical"), the aerospace and technology company that is pioneering electric aviation, announces that Justin 'Jif' Paines has joined the company as Chief Test Pilot. Jif joins Vertical from Joby Aviation, where he held the same role for the past three years.

Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace

Paines has an unrivalled understanding of the technical aspects of developing and piloting ground-breaking V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) aircraft. Holding a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, he had a distinguished career in the Royal Air Force, including exchange duties with the US Air Force.  While a test pilot in the RAF he pioneered development and flight test of a revolutionary V/STOL vehicle control system which affords increased safety, improved vehicle performance, and reduced pilot workload and training cost. This technology was later adopted by Lockheed Martin for the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Paines has evaluated some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, including the Harrier, the 'X-35' experimental X-plane, the UK's fly-by-wire VAAC Harrier test bed, and the Joby S4.

Paines' decision to join Vertical's team, alongside its commercial partners such as American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon and Bristow further enhances Vertical's leadership in the eVTOL sector and  demonstrates confidence by one of the world's leading test pilots in the certification and commercialisation of Vertical's eVTOL, the VA-X4. He will be based at Vertical's innovation and development facility in Bristol, in the heartland of British aerospace and manufacturing, where he joins a proven and experienced team from some of the world's leading aerospace and technology businesses including Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar.

Paines is expected to conduct the first piloted flight of the VA-X4, in 2022 and today's announcement adds to the significant momentum in the business. Vertical recently announced that its conditional pre-order book had increased up to 1,350 aircraft with an estimated value of $5.4bn; an orderbook which exceeds that of every other eVTOL company in the world.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO said: "Justin brings over three decades of outstanding expertise in piloting some of the world's most iconic aircraft. He will be a key part of the team that takes our VA-X4 through to certification and we are tremendously excited to have him aboard our growing team."

Justin Paines said: "Vertical has an amazing team of engineers, the right design approach, and partnerships with the some of the best aerospace and airline companies in the world. This combination is what attracted me to Vertical and I am totally confident in their ability to deliver a certified aircraft that will transform aviation."

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 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 unrivalled top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification, allow for a lean cost structure and enable production at scale. Vertical has received conditional pre-orders for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. In June 2021, Vertical Aerospace announced a SPAC merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (NYSE: BSN).

About VA-X4 eVTOL Aircraft
The four passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VA-X4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: www.vertical-aerospace.com

About Broadstone Acquisition Corp.
Broadstone Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: BSN) was set up by serial entrepreneurs, operators and investors, Hugh Osmond, Edward Hawkes and Marc Jonas. It was established to combine with a UK/European business with a strong management team, significant growth prospects, and the opportunity to become a market leader in its sector. Broadstone's executive team has an extensive track record in value creation. The combination of a strong internal team, a network of external resources and the experience of the management team enables us to support rapid, substantial, and lasting growth.

About Justin Paines
Justin Paines was educated at Oxford University and holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He spent sixteen years with the Royal Air Force, during which he graduated from the US Air Force Test Pilot School as Distinguished Graduate in 1995.  His career as a test pilot focused on V/STOL flight control research and development. Paines pioneered a number of innovations in V/STOL technology including conducting the flight test that led to the adoption of the radical "Unified" V/STOL flight control strategy for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the development and flight test of F-35 "Ship Rolling Vertical Landing" technology with the UK's fly by wire Harrier testbed.  Justin has served as chief instructor at the Empire Test Pilots' School, carried out custom flight test services and from 2018 to 2021 was Chief Test Pilot at Joby Aviation, conducting intensive flight test of the Joby S4 eVTOL.

For more information 

Vertical Aerospace – UK/Europe - Nepean 
Gavin Davis -  gdavis@nepean.co.uk  
Samuel Emdensemden@nepean.co.uk / +447816 459 904

Vertical Aerospace – USA - FTI 
Hamm Hooper & Kayt Pittsverticalaerospace@fticonsulting.com / +1 773 786 7286

Broadstone - Edelman  
Iain Dey - Broadstone@Edelman.com / +44 7976 295906

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