Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today announces it has further strengthened its executive leadership team with the appointment of David King as Chief Engineer. David joins in February 2023 and will be responsible for the technical development and overall performance of the Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft, supervising every phase of the project from start to completion.
David previously spent seven years as Chief Engineer on the AW609 VTOL aircraft developed by tier-one aerospace supplier, Leonardo, a strategic partner of Vertical. David built and managed a new engineering organisation at Leonardo Helicopter’s US subsidiary, to modernise the AW609 design, initiate production, and advance FAA certification of the world’s first commercial tiltrotor. The AW609 is set to be the first new category aircraft to be certified in over 50 years. The AW609 has demonstrated unmatched vertical lift capability for the commercial market which will be critical experience as David translates this expertise to the VX4.
King has also held senior roles at both Leonardo and aircraft manufacturer Bell Aircraft, where he was Chief Engineer and launched Bell’s newest commercial helicopter design and certification project, the Bell 525 Relentless. David has vast experience developing and validating innovative technologies for VTOL aircraft with tilting rotor systems and wing-borne cruise, dating back to his integrated product team leadership role in developing the revolutionary Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor.
David has extensive global certification experience that he will bring to bear on the VX4, spanning the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical, commented, “As we approach the next phase of our journey to the skies, I am thrilled to welcome David on board. His unparalleled experience in the design and certification of VTOL aircraft will propel us forward on the next stage of our mission to transform the way we travel.”
David King said, “From my time at Leonardo, I have already seen first-hand the pioneering work Vertical is doing. The pragmatic approach they have taken with the design and certification of the VX4 will pave the way to success and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the team in their efforts to revolutionise air travel.”