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Fri, Jan 28, 2022

Elroy Air Unveils Chaparral Cargo Drone

Hybrid VTOL Looks to Fill in Gaps In Supply Chain

Elroy Air released initial information on its upcoming autonomous cargo drone, slated to carry anywhere from 300-500 lbs of cargo up to 300 miles.

While not too far off from the design of other commercial drone aircraft, the fixed- wing VTOL features a stout looking cargo pod attached to its fuselage. The Chaparral, as it’s called, boasts a slightly bigger size than other delivery drones, being designed for true cargo carriage instead of home service. The size appears perfect for flying the penultimate leg of a suburban haul from Amazon Prime, if photos are any indication. 

Elroy picked the right time to start hunting for preorders, as they came out of the gate advertising their aircraft as a variable link in the supply chain that can slot in anywhere along the line and replace floundering links wherever needed.

The play has been successful, says Elroy, as they garnered more than 500 orders from customers amounting to more than $1 billion. The company hopes that’s just a start, mentioning the dearth of cargo aircraft and the pilots to fly them in the express parcel and healthcare sectors. 

“Today, we are proud to unveil the Chaparral, a first-of-kind autonomous air cargo system that builds on the more than 100 years of American aviation and aircraft development history,” said Elroy Air Co-founder and CEO David Merrill. “The Chaparral is an important part of the future of express logistics. It is built for full end-to-end automation, and it will safely and efficiently make express shipping possible in thousands of new places. It's a delivery drone that's faster than ground transport and lower cost than today's traditional aircraft.” 

Mesa Airlines is on tap to purchase 150 aircraft to service their cargo routes, said CEO Jonathan Ornstein.

“I think one of the reasons why this is a moment to deploy the Chaparral system is that the market really requires it. We're not even creating a market. We are answering a demand that exists in the market today that is currently unanswered. We are increasingly seeing the demand for same and next-day delivery, but so many rural communities have been cut off from the national transportation system.”

FMI: www.elroyair.com

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