San Diego-based Natilus has become the latest low-emission aircraft developer to sign an agreement with Monte Aircraft Leasing, with the UK lessor adding its new partner’s Kona unmanned cargo aircraft to its stable.

Under the strategic partnership, Monte will provide leasing and financing options for the Kona aircraft to Natilus’s customers.

Natilus Kona-c-Natilus

Source: Natilus

Turboprop-powered aicraft will be able to transport 3.8t payload

Kona is an autonomous cargo aircraft featuring a blended-wing-body configuration. It will launch with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops but will later be available with ZeroAvia’s ZA600 hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.

It will be have 900nm (1,667km) of range and be able to carry a 3.8t payload, according to San Diego-based Natilus; certification is slated for 2026.

“We are thrilled to partner with Monte to make our Kona aircraft more accessible to customers,” says Aleksey Matyushev, chief executive and co-founder of Natilus.

“This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our mission to revolutionise the cargo transport industry with innovative, environmentally friendly solutions.”

Monte has previously struck agreements with multiple companies developing next-generation or low-emission aircraft or technologies, including Ampaire, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Dovetail Electric Aviation, Eviation, and ZeroAvia.