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U.S. Army awards Electra USD1.9 million contract for wind tunnel testing of eSTOL logistics aircraft

Electra today announced a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Army valued at USD1.9 million that funds powered wind tunnel testing of Electra’s hybrid-electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft. The company says the award enables the U.S. Army to explore Electra’s unique blown wing aircraft technology potential to broaden U.S. military capabilities, especially for fuel-efficient, resilient logistics in contested environments.

“Electra’s eSTOL represents a new category of aircraft capability, combining helicopter-like operational flexibility with superior fixed wing-like performance and operating costs” according to the press release. “The innovative combination of blown lift and eight distributed electric motors significantly increases wing lift, enabling ultra-short takeoffs and landings from spaces as small as a soccer field, and dramatically reduced noise and fuel use compared to conventional aircraft and helicopters. Hybrid-electric power ensures ranges beyond 1,000 miles for national security applications without the need for battery charging stations.

“The powered wind tunnel testing will advance Electra’s novel aerodynamics database for use in performance analysis, simulator, and control law development. These wind tunnel tests, combined with ground tests and the ongoing flight test program of Electra’s eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft, will be used to help guide the design and development of Electra’s production aircraft.”

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(Image: Electra)

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