Spanish aerostructures firm Aciturri is backing alternative propulsion start-up Dovetail Electric Aviation, becoming the lead investor in the second tranche of seed funding.

Neither party has disclosed how much Aciturri will inject into Dovetail, but tranche two will raise in excess of $4 million, adding to $3.5 million pledged in a previous tranche last year.

King_air conversion-c-Dovetail Aviation

Source: Dovetail Aviation

Future plans encompass King Air conversions

Dovetail says it has signed a “binding investment agreement” with Aciturri to lead the latest round. Although the size of Aciturri’s stake has not been disclosed, the propulsion specialist says it will be “significant”.

During last year’s funding round, Australian carrier Regional Express (Rex) took a 20% stake in the company.

Aciturri is also expected to contribute its engineering know-how to Dovetail, with more details to be disclosed over the coming months.

“Aciturri’s involvement brings not only financial support but also significant capabilities that will greatly enhance our technology roadmap and accelerate our path to market,” says Dovetail chief executive David Doral.

“Their track record and expertise in high technology aerostructures and engine parts will add immense value to our operations, helping us bring our innovative solutions to market faster and more efficiently.”

Alvaro Fernandez Baragano, chief executive of Aciturri Aeroengines and the group’s chief diversification officer, adds: “We look forward to working closely with Dovetail Electric Aviation to bring their ground-breaking technology to market.”

Dovetail expects the tranche two fund-raising to close shortly. It will also see the addition of at least one institutional venture capital fund to the firm’s list of backers, it says.

Development work continues on Dovetail’s first battery-electric powertrain, with all the major elements now integrated. First flight aboard a converted Cessna Caravan is expected next year.

While its initial project centres on the Caravan, Dovetail is also proposing conversion of the Beechcraft King Air to run on batteries or in future hydrogen fuel cells.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Dovetail was set up as a joint venture between Spain’s Dante Aeronautical and Sydney Seaplanes. Besides Rex, other airline backers include Air Nostrum and Volotea.