Electra has been contracted by the US Navy (USN) to explore the use of its hybrid-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft for logistics missions in contested environments.

As part of the work, Electra will collaborate with the USN to define specific use cases and conduct a conceptual design study to evaluate how its aircraft can “address unique navy capability gaps”.

Electra EL-2 technology demonstrator aircraft-e-Electra

Source: Electra

Electra is currently flying its EL-2 technology demonstrator

“Electra’s eSTOL has all the right technology-enabled capabilities to help the navy address next-generation aviation logistics challenges,” says Ben Marchionna, the company’s director of technology and innovation.

Boasting a blown-wing design and hybrid-electric distributed propulsion system, Electra’s aircraft can cover distances of up to 434nm (804km) at a cruise speed of 173kt (321km/h). Crucially for the naval mission, it can take off and land from an area no bigger than 91m (300ft) by 30m – more than a third shorter than the flightdeck of the USN’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Electra has previously scored similar innovation agreements with the US Army and US Air Force.