‘Electra Demonstrates Blown Lift eSTOL Technology’

Electra.aero, a Northern Virginia startup, recently completed the first test flights of its EL-2 eSTOL (piloted blown-lift hybrid-electric short takeoff and landing) demonstrator aircraft. The company conducted a series of successful test flights between April and May at Manassas Regional Airport and Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.

Established in 2020, Electra is working on developing a nine-passenger hybrid electric eSTOL aircraft with a 500-mile range and cruising speed of 200 mph. This fixed-wing eSTOL is designed to require only a 300 x 100 feet area for takeoffs and landings, targeting ultra-short takeoff capabilities.

What sets Electra’s eSTOL apart from other electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is its utilization of blown lift technology. This innovative electric propulsion technique enhances the aircraft’s aerodynamic performance by using an array of electric motors to blow air over large wing flaps, generating lift at very slow speeds.

The company’s website explains that blowing air over the wing and flaps through the electric propulsion system multiplies the amount of lift the wing generates, enabling takeoffs and landings at speeds as slow as 35 mph. Electra’s hybrid-electric propulsion system combines a turbogenerator with battery packs to power the electric motors, offering three operating modes for efficient in-flight and ground operations.

The two-seater EL-2 eSTOL demonstrator aircraft completed a series of test flights that lasted up to 1 hour and 43 minutes, reaching an altitude of 6,500 feet. Electra aims to use the data and insights gathered from these flights to inform the design of their 9-passenger commercial eSTOL aircraft, with plans for commercial service under FAA Part 23 regulations by 2028.

Overall, Electra’s innovative approach to eSTOL aircraft design and propulsion systems showcases their commitment to advancing the future of electric aviation.

Similar Posts