This website uses cookies
More information
Site Filter — Worldwide / All Aircraft
E-commerce surge prompts Airflow to develop middle-mile eSTOL
An eSTOL aircraft being developed by Airflow includes an electric propulsion system, single-pilot operations, and the ability to carry 500 lbs of cargo. It is expected to enter production in 2025.
The aircraft is designed to specialise in middle-mile trips on urban fringes.

Aerial logistics company Airflow is developing an electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft designed for middle-mile trips. The company's logistics network says it can move short-haul cargo quickly and cost-effectively over traffic by utilising the unused airspace around cities.

Started by five former Airbus Vahana team members with a combined 60 years of aerospace experience, Airflow is looking to address the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market for one-third the operating cost of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. UAM is a transportation system using next-generation aircraft to move cargo and people in and out of urban areas by air.

The need for rapid middle-mile logistics capabilities (between 50 and 200 miles) is growing significantly, due to e-commerce growth. To address that need, Airflow’s service seeks to move cargo and time-sensitive medical supplies directly between warehouses without using traditional airports. Airflow’s eSTOL aircraft requires less than 150 feet to take off and land using a 300-foot runway, which is about the length of three helipads next to each other.

The eSTOL aircraft includes an electric propulsion system, single-pilot operations, and the ability to carry 500 lbs of cargo. This aircraft is a relatively simple fixed-wing aircraft, which dramatically reduces development and certification risks when compared with more complex aircraft. From a certification standpoint, eSTOL aircraft are conventional aircraft with new technology that is focused on enabling short-field capabilities. eSTOL aircraft can be certified under standard Part 23 regulations, whereas eVTOL aircraft must be certified using a more complicated and expensive process due to their more complex systems and potential failure modes.

“The demand for same-day e-commerce continues to rise, and we’re building a new low-cost aerial capability to enable that growth,” states co-founder and CEO Marc Ausman. “Our approach from the beginning is to focus on a simple aircraft design with well-defined technology. In doing so, the team believes development and certification costs will be approximately $200 million versus more than $700 million for an eVTOL aircraft, making for more efficient use of capital.”

The Airflow eSTOL aircraft is expected to go into production in 2025.

Other News
 
ZeroAvia orders hydrogen fuel cells for ground testing
September 13, 2021
Hyzon's Gen3 fuel cell stack achieves a volumetric power density above 6.0 kW/litre and gravimetric power density more than 5.5 kW/kg, offering a power to weight ratio suitable for aviation.
Ampaire extends demonstrations of hybrid electric flight
August 27, 2021
The revolution for sustainable aviation is well under way. Low-emission aircraft are now vitally needed on short haul regional routes for the UK to meet its net-zero objective in aviation, says Ampaire.
Former Embraer CEO joins Airflow board
August 24, 2021
Paulo Silva's main goals are to help the company to become net-carbon zero and to reduce costs for both customers and providers. Airflow has announced that orders have flown past the $600m mark.