That’s the vision of Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Britain’s Vertical Aerospace, which is set to raise $394 million in a merger with a blank-cheque New York-listed company, and who says his aircraft will be flying by the mid-2020s.

And he’s not alone. Some of the world’s most high-profile engineers and airlines believe Vertical is onto something with its plan for zero-emission mini-aircraft to almost silently take four passengers through the skies for up to 120 miles .

American Airlines, aircraft lessor Avolon, engineers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, as well as Microsoft’s M12 unit are investing in the merger, which is expected to complete by the end of the year.

Fitzpatrick, who also set up OVO Energy, Britain’s no.3 energy retailer, said Vertical flights between London’s Heathrow airport and its Canary Wharf financial district will take 15 minutes and cost 50 pounds  per passenger.

 Interest in the zero-emission aircraft comes at a time when aviation companies are under mounting pressure from investors to help decarbonize the sector and boost their environmental, social and governance scores.

Fitzpatrick told Reuters ,”We are going to sign deals. We’re finding the appetite and the demand from airlines to be really strong”.The VA-X4 is still in construction and will start test flights early next year. Fitzpatrick believes Vertical’s partnerships will help it emerge as a winner.

Using battery technology from the car industry, and tried and tested electrical propulsion units and motors, and backed by Honeywell’s electronics, Fitzpatrick has “no doubt” that the VA-X4 will fly.

“The process of certifying the aircraft is known. The technologies are new, but the steps we need to go through are relatively similar to other aircraft,” said Fitzpatrick, who has recruited senior engineers from both Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

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