On-demand air mobility start-up Flyv has committed to buying 100 of Electra.aero's planned hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes a partnership between the two companies in Europe. Under the agreement, the partners will explore urban and regional network opportunities and collaborate on elements of eSTOL performance, economics, and passenger experience as well as joint marketing initiatives.
The contract brings to 280 the number of sales commitments U.S.-based Electra now holds for its fixed-wing eSTOL aircraft. Using a combination of blown lift technology, hybrid-electric power, and distributed propulsion, the aircraft promises lower emissions and operating costs than conventional aircraft, according to the company. The aircraft’s batteries will be re-charged in mid-flight, eliminating the need for ground charging infrastructure and enabling quick flight turnaround in diverse environments.
Electra’s aircraft will initially carry up to seven passengers and a pilot or 1,800 pounds of cargo up to 500 miles in all weather conditions. Its ability to take off and land with just 100 feet of linear space allows flight operations from places previously inaccessible by air, including urban rooftops and corporate parking lots.
According to Electra, its technology delivers two-and-a-half times the payload and 10 times more range as well as 70 percent lower operating costs than what it calls vertical takeoff alternatives. The manufacturer expects to begin flights with a full-scaled demonstrator next year in the U.S. and gain certification for the seven-seat eSTOL vehicle in 2026.
Plans call for Germany-based Flyv to operate between airports and eventually provide point-to-point intercity travel. In lieu of a traditional hub and spoke network, the Flyv says its scheduling platform will usesa proprietary algorithm to optimize the daily flight schedule based on paid bookings and operational constraints. The company plans to provide customers a guaranteed fixed travel timeframe to their destination at the point of booking and exact itinerary details prior to departure.
"Traditional airlines are focused on capacity, not on demand,” said Flyv CEO Anton Lutz. “We're building a new means of transport that is demand-driven and customer centric. We aim to connect unserved communities to as many other decentralized locations as possible by delivering the fastest means of transport from one point to another at market value-based prices.”