Elroy Air, a company developing an end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system, has signed an agreement with LCI, a leading aviation company and a subsidiary of Libra Group, for commitments to purchase up to 40 of Elroy’s Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Deposits have been paid for the first 20 vehicles.

With this agreement, Elroy has now secured more than $2 billion in aircraft purchase demand for upwards of 900 Chaparral systems in the commercial, defense and humanitarian sectors.

“We’re experiencing an enthusiastic response to the Chaparral and its capabilities to serve as a key part of a safe, efficient, and capable fleet of aircraft to respond in emergency situations, keep pilots out of harm’s way, and enable rapid logistics in a new and sustainable way,” said David Merrill, CEO and Co-Founder of Elroy Air. “Through our agreement with LCI, the Chaparral will be available for financing — enabling much broader access to the aircraft. We are proud that the Chaparral will now be part of LCI’s aviation fleet and look forward to providing aerial cargo transport globally.”

The Chaparral is an autonomous VTOL cargo delivery system designed for aerial transport of up 500 lbs (225 kgs) of goods over a 300 nautical mile range, enabled initially by a turbine-based hybrid-electric powertrain with distributed electric propulsion, and specially designed aerodynamic modular cargo pods.

“Applications for the Chaparral include aerial cargo transport for disaster relief, firefighting and humanitarian operations without risk to pilots or the need for airport infrastructure,” said VP of Business Development & Strategy Kofi Asante. “What’s particularly exciting about our agreement with LCI is that it unlocks financing for the Chaparral for humanitarian use and enables us to share the Chaparral’s capabilities worldwide.”

Rendering of the Elroy Chapparal in flight with LCI branding

Why it’s important: As stated by Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI: “This commitment for the pioneering Chaparral system will enable us to efficiently support mission critical, remote logistical work and socially responsible humanitarian work around the world. It will do so in complement with the wide-ranging capabilities of our existing aviation fleet.” This announcement comes alongside Elroy Air’s recent move to Byron Airport in Northern California. The company is using the new facility to support full-scale ground and flight testing of its Chaparral C1 vehicles to validate safety of flight through a series of ground tests, which will be key to delivering the system to its customers expeditiously.

Source // Elroy Air press release


Posted by Naish Gaubatz