Helicopter operator Bristow today pledged to purchase up to 50 hybrid-electric STOL aircraft developed by Electra Aero for air services from 2026, when the aircraft is expected to enter service. Under a memorandum of understanding, Bristow will also support the startup in “developing eSTOL aircraft operations, design and safety features to meet customer certification requirements, as well as the FAA.” , EASA and Transport Canada”.
In addition, the two companies intend to jointly explore potential new applications for the hybrid-electric short take-off and landing aircraft, with a focus on retailers’ middle-of-the-road logistics needs.
The aircraft will feature Electra’s proprietary blown-lift design and eight electric motors, as well as an as-yet-unspecified turbogenerator to recharge batteries in flight. According to Virginia-based Electra, it will be able to carry between five and seven passengers or 1,800 pounds of cargo on trips of up to about 500 miles in all weather conditions. Currently unnamed, the eSTOL model is expected to need a maximum surface area of 300 feet to take off and land, allowing it to perform many missions currently performed by rotorcraft.
The move marks a significant departure for Bristow, which today operates a global fleet of approximately 240 rotorcraft, primarily serving oil and gas customers, as well as services such as search and rescue for governments and organizations. civil.
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