Electra.aero, a new startup working on the design of electric short takeoff and landing aircraft, is teaming up with supersonic aircraft manufacturer Aerion to develop global mobility solutions of the future. Aerion is rethinking travel with their supersonic AS2 aircraft, which cruises at Mach 1.4 while carrying 8-10 passengers. They are teaming up with Electra as a preferred partner to serve the greater New York metropolitan areas and other potential hubs to explore an integrated high-speed point-to-point experience. Electra will provide connection from smaller airports to the larger hubs from which Aerion aircraft will operate.
Electra was founded by John S. Langford, III, who previously founded the research lab Aurora Flight Sciences, now a subsidiary of Boeing, and has served as the president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) since 2017. Other team members include experts from Aurora Flight Sciences, Boeing, Pilatus Aircraft and MIT, including world-renowned aerodynamicist Mark Drela.
While many companies are developing eVTOL solutions to serve the Urban Air Mobility market, Electra is choosing to invest in eSTOL technology. Their first aircraft design features distributed electric propulsion using eight electric motors mounted along the leading edge of a high wing. The powered lift coming from the increased dynamic pressure over an efficient flap design allows the aircraft to take off and land on a strip with a length in the order of 100 feet. It’ll use guidance and control systems proven on unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles to enable high-precision takeoffs and landings from roads, parking lots, sports fields and docks.
Aerion and Electra offer the perfect combination of speed and convenience. Electra’s powered-lift aircraft can bring air service to areas of less than 100 feet. This will open new opportunities to connect urban, suburban, and remote areas.
– John Langford, CEO of Electra.aero