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Elroy Air, the company developing the first end-to-end autonomous VTOL aerial cargo system, has signed an agreement with LCI, a leading aviation company and a subsidiary of Libra Group, for commitments to purchase up to 40 of the company’s Chaparral VTOL aircraft, with down payments on a number of the vehicles.
The company has now secured more than $2 billion in aircraft purchase demand in the commercial, defense and humanitarian sectors.
“We’re experiencing an enthusiastic response to the Chaparral and its capabilities to serve as a key part of a safe, efficient, and capable fleet of aircraft to respond in emergency situations, keep pilots out of harm’s way, and enable rapid logistics in a new and sustainable way,” said David Merrill, CEO and co-founder of Elroy Air. “Through our agreement with LCI, the Chaparral will be available for financing — enabling much broader access to the aircraft. We are proud that the Chaparral will now be part of LCI’s aviation fleet and look forward to providing aerial cargo transport globally.”
The Chaparral is the first end-to-end autonomous VTOL cargo delivery system. It is designed for aerial transport of up 500 pounds (225 kilograms) of goods over a 300 nautical mile range, enabled initially by a turbine-based hybrid-electric powertrain with distributed electric propulsion, and specially designed aerodynamic modular cargo pods.
“Applications for the Chaparral include aerial cargo transport for disaster relief, firefighting and humanitarian operations without risk to pilots or the need for airport infrastructure,” said Kofi Asante, vice president of business development and strategy. “What’s particularly exciting about our agreement with LCI is that it unlocks financing for the Chaparral for humanitarian use and enables us to share the Chaparral’s capabilities worldwide.”
Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “This commitment for the pioneering Chaparral system will enable us to efficiently support mission critical, remote logistical work and socially responsible humanitarian work around the world. It will do so in complement with the wide-ranging capabilities of our existing aviation fleet.