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Thu, Jan 20, 2022

Lockheed Venture Arm Invests in Electra

eSTOL Company Expects Full-Scale Demonstrator Later This Year

Electra.aero has received an investment during its Series A funding round from the venture arm of Lockheed Martin, which will be used to support the company's plans to fly a full-scale demonstrator aircraft for their hybrid eSTOL technology. The prototype is hoped to take flight sometime in 2022, pending successful ground tests of the propulsion system. 

“Electra’s technical approach to sustainable aviation is differentiated, and we are excited to see this concept mature,” said Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. "We invested in Electra due to its emphasis on hybrid-electric technology. Hybrid-electric aircraft can offer operational and environmental benefits over other aircraft. They have the potential for increased range and payload without having to gamble on battery upgrades. We are looking forward to working with the Electra Team and hope to partner in the future," said Moran. 

Given the troubles associated with battery power, from large charging stations, flammability concerns, and the constant pace of innovation leaving production aircraft to prematurely age in comparison, fuel-powered engines may be the best way to future-proof the aircraft. A small battery bank, constantly recharged by a turbine generator, frees up a portion of battery weight for payload, as well as potentially enhance the power supply's stability in extreme temperatures. Recharging in flight also allows for consistent operation, with the convenience of airport refueling across the world. With the Electra's ultra-short takeoff and landing capabilities, any space as small as 300 by 100 feet could be used as a makeshift airfield, allowing for distributed cargo operations impossible with traditional aircraft. The Electra is slated to carry up to 1,800 pounds of cargo, or move up to 9 passengers on traditional regional aircraft missions.

“Hybrid-electric propulsion will influence every aspect of aviation,” said John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra. We are delighted to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures, one of our key strategic investors in the Series A financing round. Lockheed Martin is a global leader in aerospace and defense and we feel this partnership is complementary for Electra Martin and Lockheed Martin. They are an honor to be part of our team. “

FMI: www.electra.aero,www.lockheedmartin.com

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