Electra.aero, a company developing an ultra short takeoff and landing aircraft, has been selected by the U.S Air Force for a Strategic Fund Increase program. This program will allow Electra.aero to partner with the U.S Air Force to raise up to $85 million through private investments, government funding, and matching Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding.
Electra.aero’s all-electric aircraft design will be able to take-off and land in ‘soccer-field’ sized spaces. According to the company, this will give the aircraft helicopter-like versatility, allowing runways to be used in far more locations.
The funding raised by the new program will go towards developing a full-scale pre-production prototype of Electra’s eSTOL aircraft. Through the program, the Air Force will both help Electra connect with additional funding, and will provide testing, evaluation, and preliminary certification of prototypes. Ultimately, the goal of the program will to utilize the Air Force’s resources to bring this aircraft to commercialization.
Electra.aero envisions the aircraft being utilized in regional air mobility, cargo logistics, executive transport, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and more. Already, Electra has received over 1,000 eSTOL aircraft orders from commercial customers around the globe.
John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra, “This STRATFI award reinforces the Air Force’s commitment to dual-use eSTOL technology as a solution for national security and other government missions, and validates Electra’s aircraft design and engineering work to date. The cost and risk advantages of eSTOL technology also make it a smart investment. We are honored to be chosen for this significant award and look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Agility Prime team.”
Said Lieutenant Colonel John, leader of the Agility Prime Initiative at the Air Force, “It’s vital that we ensure new advanced air mobility technologies with dual-use applications are developed and manufactured here at home in the U.S. Electra’s eSTOL technology has the potential to deliver valuable logistics and mobility capabilities to the Air Force. We value our partnership with Electra and look forward to supporting their continued development and future transition.”
Why it’s Important: eSTOL (short take-off and landing aircraft) has the potential to revolutionize regional transportation. These aircraft can make air travel far more accessible for many communities by using runways at locations that were previously impossible. Additionally, by being electric, these aircraft can provide regional air transport for far less operational cost than existing airplanes. These factors combined create enormous potential for logistics businesses and travelers to use these aircraft for medium-distance transportation.