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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Piloted Electra test flights achieve first ultra-short eSTOL
The eSTOL test aircraft took off in less than 170ft and landed in under 114ft ground roll, demonstrating the STOL capability to operate from spaces shorter than 300ft.
During the flight test campaign, the longest flight lasted 1 hour 43 minutes and the EL-2 Goldfinch reached an altitude of 6,500ft.
Read this story in our June 2024 printed issue. has successfully achieved the first high-performance ultra-short flight operations of its piloted blown-lift hybrid-eSTOL demonstrator aircraft, EL-2 Goldfinch.

"This milestone is an incredible achievement as we've proven that our eSTOL aircraft has the capability to do what we said it could do; operate from spaces shorter than 300 feet," says vice president and general manager JP Stewart. "The aircraft handling at low-speeds has been exceptional and is matching our analysis well, building confidence in the predicted capability of the nine passenger product design. We'll continue to develop our technologies, including the 'thrust-by-wire' flight control system, to allow us to fly even slower on approach and further improve the STOL take off and landing performance in the ongoing test campaign."

The test flights, piloted by Cody Allee, took place through April and May 2024 at the Manassas Regional airport and Warrenton-Fauquier airport in Virginia. The longest flight lasted one hour 43 minutes. During the campaign, the aircraft took off in less than 170ft and landed in under 114ft ground roll, the aircraft reached an altitude of 6,500ft and it flew as slowly as 25kts on take off and landing. Data and insights gained from the flight test programme will inform the design of Electra's commercial eSTOL aircraft, with entry into commercial service under FAA Part 23 regulations targeted for 2028.

Electra's blown-lift design uses eight electric motors to significantly increase wing lift, allowing the eSTOL aircraft to take off and land in just 1/10th of the space needed by conventional aircraft. This enables access to locations that today only helicopters can reach. Quiet electric motors dramatically reduce noise and emissions for community-friendly operations. Hybrid-electric power provides long-range capability without the need for ground-based charging stations.

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