Airflow, an aerial logistics company based in the San Francisco Bay area, has announced the development of one of the first full-scale piloted technology demonstrators of an electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft.
For the last year, Airflow has been utilising a sub-scale model for test flights that have helped develop eSTOL flight control technology. The next phase will transform a Cessna 210 into an eSTOL with distributed electric propulsion (DEP). DEP enables operations into and out of very short runways by providing more control at slower airspeeds.
Airflow will validate and refine the design parameters used to build the production eSTOL aircraft. “Selecting the Cessna 210 saves us the effort of designing and building the pieces that already work, such as the cockpit, fuselage, landing gear and so on,” states Peter Kalogiannis, co-founder and CTO. “We'll concentrate on changing the rest to make it an eSTOL aircraft.”
This aircraft represents the first step towards bringing to market aircraft designed for sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.
Airflow was founded in 2019 by five former Airbus Vahana team members to bring eSTOL capabilities to the middle-mile logistics market. The team is passionate about expanding aviation benefits and has deep experience in aerospace and technology development. The founding team's background includes companies like Airbus, Eclipse Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Uber Elevate, Airware and Scaled Composites.