Electra.aero, Inc., a next-generation aerospace company committed to decarbonizing aviation and opening new air transportation markets, announced that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX innovation arm for a Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) award. The award secures up to $85 million in funding for Electra’s development of a full-scale pre-production prototype of an electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft. The eSTOL aircraft is designed for operations from small spaces and can fly a variety of missions, including urban and regional air mobility, cargo logistics, executive transport, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response. The aircraft has received over 1,000 orders from commercial customers worldwide.
The STRATFI award will fund the rapid development, testing, and evaluation of a full-scale pre-production prototype eSTOL aircraft that will be used by the Air Force to validate requirements and operational use cases. The award will leverage Electra’s upcoming world-first flight test of a two-seat piloted eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft and accelerate the transition path for Electra’s commercial nine-passenger eSTOL product aircraft to support Air Force missions.
The award builds on Electra’s six active USAF SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II and Phase III contracts that have matured the core aspects of eSTOL technology, including distributed electric propulsion, blown lift aerodynamics and acoustics, precision flight controls, and hybrid-electric powertrains. Under the STRATFI contract, Electra will further strengthen its partnership with the AFWERX Agility Prime program, which aims to expand technology transition paths and accelerate emerging dual-use markets by leveraging government resources for rapid and affordable fielding, while bolstering U.S. tech advantage.
“This STRATFI award reinforces the Air Force’s commitment to dual-use eSTOL technology as a solution for national security and other government missions, and validates Electra’s aircraft design and engineering work to date,” said John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra. “We are honored to be chosen for this significant award and look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the Agility Prime team.”
Electra.aero, Inc. is a next-gen aerospace company leading the way in sustainable urban and regional mobility. The company is building clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) airplanes that fly people and cargo quieter, further, and more affordably. Electra’s technology delivers 2.5x the payload and 10X longer range with 70% lower operating costs than vertical takeoff alternatives with much less certification risk, proving that climate-friendly technology can also be cost-effective. Electra’s team includes some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design, and its technology development is supported by NASA and the U.S. Air Force Agility Prime program.