By Chris Stonor
Electra.aero announced this week that it has received investment in its Series A funding round from Lockheed Martin Ventures (LMV), reports a press release. The amount invested from the venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation is not known yet.
The funding will support Electra’s plans to begin flight testing a full-scale hybrid eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft later this year.
Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of LMV, commented, “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.”
He added, “Electra’s technical approach to sustainable aviation is differentiated, and we are excited to see this concept mature.”
Electra’s hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft can operate from spaces as small as 300 x 100 ft 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. The aircraft is currently being designed to transport up to 1,800 lbs of cargo or move 7 to 9 passengers up to 500 miles.
The release says, “Electra’s aircraft can operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips, and fly missions ranging from on-demand intracity flights to medical missions, cargo transportation, scheduled passenger service, and more. The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market that Electra serves is forecast by analysts to be valued between USD250 billion and USD1 trillion by 2040.”
John S. Langford
John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra, said, “Hybrid-electric propulsion will influence every aspect of aviation. We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as one of our strategic and key investors in our Series A funding round. Lockheed Martin is a leader in aerospace and defence, and we believe this relationship is a complementary one.”
Electra.aero is building clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) airplanes with technology that delivers 2.5x the payload and 10x longer range with 70 percent lower operating costs than alternatives with less certification risk.
Electra is collaborating with air transport and ground infrastructure operators to achieve turnkey solutions for any market. The company’s team includes some “of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design”, and its technology development is supported by NASA and the US Air Force Agility Prime program.
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