The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has signed a contract with Electra.aero to develop ultra-short take-off aircraft.
Leveraging distributed hybrid-electric propulsion and blown lift, Electra's unique electric ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft takes off in less than 150 feet, but also offers nearly triple the payload capacity, an order of magnitude longer ranges, and less than half the operating costs of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) alternatives.
Electra's first commercial product, with FAA certification planned in 2026, is designed to carry up to seven passengers and a pilot as far as 500 miles. It will serve urban and regional air mobility markets, sustainability-focused airline operations, "middle mile" cargo logistics, and air ambulance services.
"Electra is thrilled to be working in tandem with the U.S. Air Force and its innovative Agility Prime team to accelerate the tech transition of eSTOL into the commercial marketplace. These next-gen, low-carbon systems will solve several critical defence-related capability gaps while leveraging affordable commercial marketplace solutions," says Ben Marchionna, Electra's Director of Technology & Innovation.