Electra.aero this week unveiled its first commercial product to serve regional air mobility markets. The fixed-wing airplane is designed to carry up to seven passengers and a pilot as far as 500 miles while operating out of areas shorter than a soccer field, including rooftops and parking lots. Electra’s “blown lift” technology – where the electric motor-driven propellers blow air over the entire span of the wing and its flaps – allows safe, energy-efficient takeoffs and landings at speeds below 30 mph while cruising at top speeds of 200 mph.

Electra’s super-short takeoff and landing airplane shown here has a wingspan of 48 feet and carries up to seven passengers plus a pilot. The aircraft has 8 electric propellers driven by a hybrid-electric power plant, which allow the plane to operate out of soccer field sized airports and other constrained spaces like rooftops and parking lots.

Electra’s aircraft does not need to rely on special charging infrastructure – the batteries are recharged mid-air by its small, quiet turbogenerator. Using much less power to lift off than vertical takeoff and landing alternatives, Electra’s aircraft provides more room for passengers and cargo, resulting in superior operating economics while also minimizing energy consumption.

Electra, founded in 2020, is devoted to sustainable regional air mobility through the development of hybrid-electric aircraft. The company is currently building technology demonstrator aircraft that will validate all relevant product technologies. Electra’s commercial aircraft product is planned to be certified in 2026 under Part 23 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, and enter commercial service by 2027.

Why it matters: Electra is a rather new player in the aerial mobility space, but its blown lift configuration is unique among eSTOL platforms. Further, the company’s technical prowess draws on both industry and academia from the likes of Boeing, Northrup Grumman, MIT, and USC, among other institutions. Expect to hear more news on Electra as they develop a technology demonstrator and construction of their first prototype.

Source: Electra press release

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