AYR Logistics to purchase 100 Elroy Air Chaparral aircraft to expand humanitarian logistics
Elroy Air and AYR announced their partnership to develop an autonomous aerial cargo delivery service for humanitarian use, at the Dubai Air Show. Chaparral is Elroy Air’s VTOL aerial cargo platform that can carry 300–500lbs of cargo over 300 miles.
In October, AYR Logistics, an aircraft owner and operator and Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company signed an agreement where AYR committed to purchasing up to 100 of Elroy Air’s Chaparral aircraft to augment and expand its humanitarian logistics business. Both the companies announced their partnership to develop an autonomous aerial cargo delivery service for humanitarian use, at the Dubai Air Show.
Serge Sergeef, CEO of AYR Logistics said, “Our aircraft need to operate in incredibly challenging and austere conditions, frequently without basic airport infrastructure, so we are very particular about the equipment we use. We need highly efficient and cost-effective aircraft with excellent dispatch reliability that provides 24-hour, all-weather operations and perform vertical takeoff and landing with pinpoint accuracy. We believe Elroy Air will provide us with that capability. For us, these Cargo-UAVs are heralding a new era in logistics and will undoubtedly become the new workhorse for humanitarian agencies.”
“The humanitarian deliveries that AYR Logistics performs represent some of the most important, and challenging logistics work in the world. We are honoured to have the opportunity to partner with the AYR team and to provide them with a new modality of safe, reliable aerial delivery for any environment. It’s an ideal deployment for our Chaparral systems with a world-class partner,” said Elroy Air Co-founder and CEO David Merrill.
Chaparral is Elroy Air’s VTOL aerial cargo platform. It is a transitioning “lift + cruise” VTOL aircraft with separate vertical and cruise flight lift fans and a hybrid-electric powertrain for long-range mission capabilities. The Chaparral can carry 300–500lbs of cargo over 300 miles.
Stephen Lyons, chief development officer, AYR Logistics, added, “The Elroy Air Chaparral ticks all the boxes for us in terms of costs, safety and environmental footprint. This aircraft will provide a very efficient platform for our humanitarian operations and capacity building projects and is ideally suited to operating in remote locations without infrastructure or ground support.”
Elroy Air has developed lightweight, aerodynamic modular cargo pods that can be pre-loaded by ground personnel and picked up by the aircraft before take-off. At the delivery location, the cargo pod is lowered to the ground and released after the system has landed. The Chaparral system can retrieve another pre-packed pod and transport the pod to its next destination, creating a bi-directional conveyor belt through the sky.
“Our team at Elroy Air is proud to support the important humanitarian work that AYR Logistics provides to communities that are difficult to reach due to unreliable roadways, limited airport infrastructure, and hostile environments,” said Kofi Asante, VP of business development and strategy, Elroy Air. “We’ve designed and built the Chaparral aircraft to safely take off and land without any infrastructure and to operate autonomously to deliver medical supplies, food, water and vaccines more frequently to the people who need it most.”