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US Navy partners with Electra to explore eSTOL aircraft for contested logistics

The US Navy has inked a contract with Electra, facilitated by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), to explore the potential of electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft as a solution for logistics in a contested environment. 

Electra is a Virginia-based startup developing electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, including its Goldfinch two-seater demonstrator that completed its maiden flight in November 2023. Electra’s production aircraft will carry nine passengers or 2,500 pounds (1,100 kilograms) of cargo up to 500 miles (800 kilometers). 

The agreement entails a collaborative effort between Electra and US Navy stakeholders to identify specific applications for contested logistics. The aim is to assess how Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft can address critical capability gaps within the Navy’s operations. 

Contested logistics entails managing the transportation of military personnel and equipment in regions that present significant challenges in terms of accessibility and support. 

“With our differentiated combination of hybrid-electric propulsion and a blown fixed wing, we can offer Pacific theater-relevant payloads and ranges, and the ability to operate from rough soccer field-sized spaces as well as many naval vessels and adjacent assets, all from day one,” said Ben Marchionna, Electra’s Director of Technology and Innovation. 

Electra is already involved with other US military branches, namely the Air Force and Army. On April 19, 2024, it received $1.9 million from the US Army through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to fund wind tunnel testing and aerodynamic analysis of its blown-wing technology. 

The post US Navy partners with Electra to explore eSTOL aircraft for contested logistics appeared first on AeroTime.

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