French start-up Aura Aero has disclosed 130 tentative agreements for its hybrid 19-seat Electric Regional Aircraft (ERA).
Signed during an event in Paris last month, the letters of intent are from nine airlines and cover the cargo, passenger and VIP variants of the developmental type.
New customers include Afrijet of Gabon which has signed for 10 aircraft, Maltese business jet operator Elit’Avia (20), Brazil’s DUX (20), French start-up Flying Green (10), FMS of Switzerland (10), and French carrier Twinjet (25).
Three additional customers will be revealed shortly, says Aura, which claims total commitments for the ERA now stand at 330 aircraft.
Jeremy Caussade, co-founder and president of Aura Aero, says: “We are convinced, more than ever, of the relevance of this aircraft in the implementation of decarbonised aviation.”
Aura is targeting 2024 for first flight, followed by service entry in 2027.
A hybrid-electric design, the ERA will be powered by six electric motors and will be equipped with batteries and a thermal engine as a range-extender. Maximum range at full payload is a claimed 1,000nm (1,850km) or 215nm using solely battery power.
Little has been revealed about the aircraft’s supplier base save for an agreement disclosed in April that Safran would work with Aura to conduct electrical architecture studies for the ERA.