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Cargo VTOL company Elroy Air announces additions to its leadership team

Elroy Air, a company developing “the first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system”, has announced that it has expanded its executive leadership to include Alex Blake as Chief of Staff and Zach Lovering as Vice President of Engineering.

Most recently, Blake served as VP of Engineering at Kittyhawk where she played a central role in driving the development of an electric autonomous air taxi, backed by Google/Alphabet founder Larry Page, said a company press release. “She was a member of the team at Google X that developed drone delivery and UTM systems, eventually splitting off as Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet with operations on 3 continents,” said the press statement. “At Wing, Alex led aerodynamics, propulsion, reliability, and flight test, aiding in the 1st FAA operational approval for a commercial drone service in the US. She also served as a launch lead for Amazon Prime Air’s next generation drone delivery system, quality manager for Google’s high altitude solar drone Titan, manufacturing engineer for Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space flight vehicle, and materials development engineer at Raytheon.”

“We recently welcomed Zach Lovering as VP Engineering. Zach led the team at A³ by Airbus as they built and flew the Vahana eVTOL aircraft all the way through transition over more than 138 flights – a pioneering program in our industry which is highly-relevant experience for the trajectory ahead for Elroy Air,” said co-founder and CEO David Merrill.

As Vice President for Urban Mobility Systems at Airbus, Zach oversaw Urban Mobility operations in the US and was responsible for the end-to-end system integration of next generation aircraft into our airspace and cities. He led the company’s flagship eVTOL demonstrator program, Vahana, originally as its founding Chief Engineer then as Project Executive at Airbus’s Silicon Valley innovation center, A³ by Airbus. Zach also led rotor blade programs at Helicopter Technology Company, and worked on the structures, propulsion, and aero-performance teams at Zee.Aero (now Wisk).

The company’s Chaparral is a transitioning “lift + cruise” eVTOL aircraft with a carbon composite airframe and a turbine-based hybrid-electric powertrain for long-range mission capabilities. It was designed to fit in a 40’ shipping container or C-130 cargo aircraft, enabling it to be quickly shipped and deployed for missions anywhere in the world, said the company. Elroy Air has additionally developed lightweight, aerodynamic modular cargo pods that can be pre-loaded by ground personnel and picked up robotically by the aircraft before takeoff. At the delivery location, the cargo pod is lowered to the ground and released after the system has landed. The Chaparral vehicle can retrieve another pre-packed pod for transport to its next destination, creating a bi-directional conveyor belt through the sky.

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