LCI, Elroy Air sign agreement for 40 VTOL Aircraft
LCI will initially buy 20 aircraft under the terms of the deposit-backed deal, with an option for a total of up to 40 planes. Elroy Air's plant in South San Francisco, California, is actively developing the VTOL aircraft.
LCI, a leading aviation company and a subsidiary of Libra Group, has agreed to purchase up to 40 Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft from Elroy Air, a developer of innovative autonomous cargo aircraft systems.
LCI's investment in Elroy Air's technology demonstrates the company's long-term commitment to long-term development and innovation. LCI will initially buy 20 aircraft under the terms of the deposit-backed deal, with an option for a total of up to 40 planes. Elroy Air's plant in South San Francisco, California, is actively developing the VTOL aircraft.
The Chaparral is the world's first fully autonomous VTOL cargo transportation system. It is intended for airborne delivery of up to 500 pounds (225 kilograms) of cargo over a 300-nautical-mile range. Initially, a turbine-based hybrid-electric engine with distributed electrical propulsion and specially designed aerodynamic modular cargo pods enable this.
Its applications include safe, efficient, and cost-effective aerial cargo transport for commercial logistics, disaster relief, firefighting, and humanitarian missions, all without putting pilots in danger or requiring airport infrastructure.
Jaspal Jandu, CEO, LCI said, "This commitment for the pioneering Chaparral system will enable us to efficiently support mission critical, remote logistical work and socially responsible humanitarian efforts around the world. It will do so in complement with the wide-ranging capabilities of our existing aviation fleet."
"We have been impressed with Elroy Air's vision and approach and look forward to working closely with the team on a wide range of opportunities. This forms part of our wider advanced air mobility strategy and will strengthen LCI's position as a leading provider of leasing, financing and investing solutions for this new and exciting market."
David Merrill, CEO and Co-Founder, Elroy Air said, "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, protect pilots, and enable rapid logistics in a new and sustainable way.
"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."
LCI's existing fleet of modern helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will be supplemented by the new VTOL aircraft. Furthermore, LCI and its parent company, Libra Group, whose companies own and manage assets in over 60 countries, want to exchange commercial, financial, and end-user knowledge with Elroy Air via well-established industry networks.
George Logothetis, Chairman and CEO of Libra Group, stated, "We are proud of LCI's partnership with Elroy Air, which further accelerates the Chaparral's entry into the global market. Bridging the present with the future requires novel partnerships such as these where established industry leaders join with innovators to make paradigm-shifting technologies a reality.
"Our Group is committed to leveraging our global platform to catalyse the uptake of sustainable innovations across our six sectors, and we look forward to sharing many future-focused partnerships to come."
LCI maintains a growing, sustainable, and future-focused fleet of young, modern aviation assets, which are leased to major operators and end-users around the world. Many are deployed on mission critical and socially responsible sectors such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR) and offshore wind energy.