Electra’s hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, which combines the operational flexibility of a helicopter, has successfully completed the first flights of its EL-2 Goldfinch.
The two-seat Goldfinch eSTOL technology demonstrator is the world’s first blown lift aircraft using distributed electric propulsion and a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
“The Goldfinch completed an all-electric test flight on November 11 and a hybrid-electric flight on November 19, both piloted by Cody Allee, from the Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia. The first hybrid flight lasted 23 minutes, reached an altitude of 3,200 feet, and covered a distance of approximately 30 miles,” said Electra’s Vice President and General Manager JP Stewart. “We’re looking forward to further expanding the envelope of this aircraft and demonstrating the full capability of Electra’s technology.”
The aircraft uses eight electric motors to significantly increase wing lift and enable ultra-short takeoffs and landings while dramatically reducing noise and emissions below those of conventional aircraft and helicopters. Hybrid-electric power provides long ranges without the need for ground-based charging stations.
Electra’s eSTOL is designed to fill a gap in transportation between 50-500 miles, to bring air service to thousands of communities where air travel today is not a practical or affordable option.
Images credit Electra