eSTOL-aircraft developer Electra is partnering with private charter company KinectAir on booking and point-to-point journey management software.
Electra’s hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) is designed to operate from spaces as small as 300 x 100ft using a patent-pending distributed electric propulsion and blown lift technology.
The reduced takeoff and landing distances of eSTOL aircraft should reduce aircraft emissions, noise, and operating costs.
Electra’s aircraft is being designed to transport up to 1,800 lbs (816kg) of cargo or carry seven to nine passengers up to 500 miles (800km) for use in urban environments and remote landing strips. Potential applications include on-demand intracity flights, medical missions, cargo transportation and scheduled passenger services.
KinectAir bills its software as an operating system for booking private charter and advanced air mobility flights. The company is collecting proprietary data from flight itineraries that evidence strong appetite for regional air mobility under 500 miles.
There are 5,200 federally funded regional airports in the USA.
KinectAir CEO Jonathan Evans said, “KinectAir makes booking private air travel easier and more affordable through our smartphone app with AI-backed route dispatch and demand generation capabilities, thereby reducing empty legs and lowering prices.
“Out of over 40,000 itineraries entered into our software, 83% of customers want to bypass the largest 30 airport hubs in order to use only point-to-point airport pairs.”
“We are presenting today what the future advanced air mobility market will look like, with the four- and eight-seat aircraft in our app. We have found that our customers book an average flight distance of 215 miles, so we know from our software data that the sweet spot for regional air mobility is between 100 and 300 miles,” he added.
“Electra’s eSTOL will bring an even more affordable aircraft into the hands of our customers with the range needed to fly profitable city pairs. Once Electra enters service, KinectAir’s software will likely be serving per seat on-demand bookings that will open up regional air mobility en masse in the same way ridesharing did for black car services.”
Marc Ausman, Electra’s chief product officer said, “Electra’s hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft provides a better way of moving people and cargo on regional routes – faster and cleaner than alternative means of travel. Convenient access to a regional air mobility network for passengers is crucial to scaling the service.
“KinectAir provides that missing link, and we will work closely with the KinectAir team to integrate Electra’s eSTOL into their extended regional air mobility network.”