More than 100 new orders for hybrid-electric ERA

French startup Aura Aero received letters of intent for 130 of the all-electric 19-seat regional aircraft it is developing last month, bringing the total number of “order intentions” for the airplane to 130. Three additional customers will be revealed shortly, says Aura, which claims total commitments for the ERA now total 330 aircraft.

The Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer was founded in 2018 and employs around 80 people. It’s Electric Regional Aircraft (ERA) is a 19 seater aircraft with a planned 300 mile (480km) range and an entry into service of 2027.

The letters of intent (LOI) were signed by several airlines for the three versions of ERA the firm is developing – a passenger, VIP and cargo variant.

In total nine airlines have expressed interest in the aircraft, including  Afrijet from Gabon for 10 aircraft, Elitavia from Malta for 20 aircraft, DUX  from Brazil for 20 aircraft, Flying Green  from France for 10 aircraft, FMS from Switzerland for 10 aircraft) and Twinjet from France for 25 aircraft.

Last October aircraft leasing company Amedo signed a letter of intent for 200 ERAs.

The latest LOIs were signed at an event organized by the Aéroclub de France in Paris last month. Aura Aero said its technical teams are now taking into account the airline’s recommendations when developing ERA.

Jérémy Caussade, co-founder and president of Aura Aero said, “We are happy and proud to announce these new orders for ERA, an aircraft that will enable, thanks to modern and digital technology, the transportation of passengers and freight in total safety, with an extremely low emission rate and an unbeatable business plan. We are convinced, more than ever, of the relevance of this aircraft in the implementation of a decarbonized aviation.”

Aura Aero’s current range of aircraft includes the Integral series of single-engine turboprop aircraft for training and aerobatic use.

New customers include Afrijet of Gabon which has signed for 10 aircraft, Maltese business jet operator Elit’Avia (20), Brazil’s DUX (20), French start-up Flying Green (10), FMS of Switzerland (10) aircraft), and French carrier Twinjet (25).

Jeremy Caussade, co-founder and president of Aura Aero, says: “We are convinced, more than ever, of the relevance of this aircraft in the implementation of decarbonised aviation.”

Aura is targeting 2024 for first flight, followed by service entry in 2027.

A hybrid-electric design, the ERA will be powered by six electric motors and will be equipped with batteries and a thermal engine as a range-extender. Maximum range at full payload is a claimed 1,000nm (1,850km) or 215nm using solely battery power.

Little has been revealed about the aircraft’s supplier base save for an agreement disclosed in April that Safran would work with Aura to conduct electrical architecture studies for the ERA.

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