Funding for Electra.aero’s cargo-carrying e-aircraft

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft demonstrator. Photo: Electra.aero

New funding will support Electra.aero’s plans to begin flight testing a full-scale hybrid-electric ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) technology demonstrator aircraft capable of carrying cargo.

The US aerospace company dedicated to sustainable urban & regional mobility has received an investment in its Series A funding round from Lockheed Martin Ventures (LMV), the venture capital arm of US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin Corporation. This funding will enable flight testing to begin this year.

Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft can operate from spaces as small as 300×100 feet using its distributed electric propulsion and blown lift technology.

A small turbine-powered generator also recharges the batteries mid-flight, eliminating the need for new ground charging infrastructure.

Designed to be environmentally friendly and minimise noise, the aircraft is anticipated to transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo or move seven to nine passengers up to 500 miles.

Electra’s aircraft can operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips. Services include cargo transportation, medical missions, on-demand intracity flights and scheduled passenger service.

The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market that Electra serves is forecast by analysts to be valued between US$250bn and US$1tn by 2040, noted the company.

Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of LMV, said: “We invested in Electra because of its focus on hybrid-electric technology. Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver operational and environmental advantages over other aircraft, including increased payload and range without gambling on battery improvements.”

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