US-based hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft maker Electra.aero (Electra) has secured investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures (LMV) in a Series A financing round.
The investment from LMV, a venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, will be used by Electra to test its hybrid eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft later in 2022.
LMV vice-president and general manager Chris Moran said: “Electra’s technical approach to sustainable aviation is differentiated and we are excited to see this concept mature.
“We invested in Electra because of its focus on hybrid-electric technology. Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver operational and environmental advantages over other aircraft, including increased payload and range without gambling on battery improvements.
“We look forward to working with the Electra team and hope to partner on opportunities in the future.”
Electra’s eSTOL aircraft is equipped with its distributed electric propulsion and blown lift technology and can operate even from small spaces.
The company claims that its environmentally friendly aircraft has the capacity to fly up to 500 miles in various weather conditions.
It can carry seven to nine passengers or transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo.
In addition, it has a turbine-powered generator that recharges aircraft batteries in mid-flight, thereby eliminating the need for a new ground charging infrastructure.
Electra founder and CEO John Langford said: “Hybrid-electric propulsion will influence every aspect of aviation.
“We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as one of our strategic and key investors in our Series A funding round.
“Lockheed Martin is a leader in aerospace and defence, and we believe this relationship is a complementary one for Electra and Lockheed Martin. We’re honoured to have them on our team.”