Airflow exploring the use of VerdeGo Aero distributed propulsion in eSTOL aircraft

Airflow is partnering with VerdeGo Aero to explore the use of their diesel hybrid system for powering their upcoming electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft. The company, founded by five former Airbus Vahana team members with experience from companies such as Eclipse Aviation, Uber Elevate and Scaled Composites, is developing an eSTOL aircraft to transform middle-mile logistics operations. The growing number of e-commerce operations has increased interest in same-day or next-day delivery. Airflow’s solution is an aircraft with distributed electric propulsion to accelerate the flow over the wing so that only 150 feet of runway is required for take-off and landing. The aircraft carries one pilot plus 500lbs of cargo over a distance of 250 miles at an operating cost one third of that of helicopters or eVTOL solutions in development. In the concept sketch, a larger motor and propeller is used in a push-configuration for use during cruise.

Photo Credit: Airflow

VerdeGo Aero developed a diesel (Jet-A) hybrid system with a 180kW generator charging a high-power battery pack, reducing emissions and fuel burn by 35% as compared to conventional turbine powertrains. The use of a hybrid systems allows the aircraft range to be extended four to ten times as compared to a purely battery-powered electric system. This is said to decrease turnaround time on the ground since multiple missions can be flown before recharging or refueling.

Our ability to rapidly move cargo from a warehouse directly to another warehouse helps e-commerce companies centralize inventory and reduce carrying costs. These capabilities are made possible by continued strategic partnerships like VerdeGo Aero.
– Marc Ausman, Airflow CEO

VerdeGo Aero is excited to be applying its hybrid-electric powertrain systems for the Airflow eSTOL aircraft. VerdeGo’s hybrid powertrain will enable the Airflow eSTOL to play a significant role in cargo and logistics missions around the world.
– Eric Bartsch, CEO & Co-founder VerdeGo Aero

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