American startup Electra Aero unveils design of new hybrid-electric aircraft

The American startup company Electra Aero unveiled the design of its first commercial hybrid-electric aircraft capable of flying up to 7 passengers on board.

The Virginia-based company is developing a new fixed-wing type hybrid-electric aircraft, which will be controlled by a single pilot and will be able to carry up to 7 passengers on board. The aircraft is expected to fly as far as 500 miles (805 kilometers) while operating out of areas shorter than a soccer field, including rooftops and parking lots. 

Electra Aero said that the new eight electric engine-driven propeller aircraft will reach up to 30 mph speed during energy-efficient takeoff and landings and will cruise at high speeds of 200 mph. 

Being powered by batteries and a quiet turbogenerator, the aircraft will not require customers to invest in “a special charging infrastructure” since the batteries will be recharged in flight, the manufacturer said.

The aircraft will also have a “blown-lift” design which means that electric aircraft propellers will be mounted on wings and will blow sufficient air over the wings to enable the aircraft to get airborne at speeds of less than 27 knots (50 kilometers per hour).

“Using much less power to lift off than vertical takeoff and landing alternatives, Electra’s aircraft provides more room for passengers and cargo, resulting in superior operating economics while also minimizing energy consumption,” Electra Aero announced in its statement on June 8, 2021.

The company founded by John Langford in 2020, currently builds a technology demonstrator aircraft that should validate all relevant product technologies. Electra Aero expects to receive the FAA‘s airworthiness certification for its new aircraft in 2026.


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