Bristow recently signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Elroy Air to pre-order 100 autonomous Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
The Chaparral is the first ever VTOL introduced to Bristow that is dedicated to cargo deliveries. The VTOL will be mainly used for logistics, healthcare and energy services. Weighing 300-500 pounds (136-226kg), it can carry cargo over a 300 mile (482 km) range.
“The Chaparral creates a ‘fast-lane’ for middle-mile logistics to an unprecedented range of locations that can serve remote, rural areas and can fly over rough terrain,” states Elroy Air’s VP of Business Development and Strategy, Kofi Asante.
Its hybrid-electric powertrain also helps to reduce carbon emissions, and the VTOL’s autonomy can combat the pilot shortage in the industry.
“Bristow has 70+ years of experience moving people and cargo. We expect to leverage that experience to usher in a new era of vertical life operations and meet the express shipping cargo needs in cities and regions without relying on existing or new airport infrastructure,” says Bristow Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer Dave Stepanek.
Elroy Air has agreed to deliver 900 aircraft to customers ranging in the commercial, defense, and humanitarian sectors.
The LoI is also slated to be replaced with a separate purchase agreement later in the year.
Bristow recently partnered with Lilium to develop advanced air mobility (AAM) solutions.
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