Tailwind Air has become the exclusive launch customer for Airflow’s Model 200 floatplane in the Mid-Atlantic and New England region, after signing a deal with the eSTOL aircraft company for 20 aircraft.

This latest announcement, which intends to bring all-electric aircraft to the commercial, amphibious regional aviation market, brings Airflow’s current order total up to $720 million from 13 customers – which also includes Ravn Alaska.

As the movement to decarbonise aviation grows, the regional, intercity market demands innovative solutions that leverage both emerging and mature technologies to ensure clean, safe, and efficient transport. Airflow’s Model 200 can carry nine passengers or 2,000lbs of cargo and has a 500 miles range plus reserves. It also has a 250ft take-off and landing distance.

Marc Ausman, CEO and co-founder, Airflow, said: “The flexibility that our aircraft provides is a way for existing operators like Tailwind Air to gain a competitive advantage, reduce emissions, and offer new services. They will now be at the leading edge of sustainable flight, and we’ll be able to further refine our aircraft design for today’s operations and tomorrow’s as well.

“Over the last year we’ve seen strong demand for our aircraft, especially an amphibious seaplane version. Our design lends itself well to the addition of floats and a partner like Tailwind to bring this to market is a win for the entire regional air mobility market.”

Tailwind Air delivers regional air mobility today by utilising access to waterways and smaller airports closer to urban cores in order to deliver time savings to customers. Pioneering the first ever New York to Boston Harbor scheduled seaplane service in 2021, Tailwind Air takes advantage of existing infrastructure in new ways and will tap the capabilities of Airflow’s distributed electric propulsion system for carbon-free regional transportation.

Founded in 2014 and based in Westchester County, New York, Tailwind Air operates a fleet of Cessna Caravan amphibian seaplanes on scheduled and charter services throughout the Northeast. The company is an FAA Part 135 operator with commuter authority and manages and charters an additional fleet of land aircraft ranging from large jets to regional turboprops.

Alan Ram, CEO of Tailwind Air, said: “We actively sought out a partner that could accelerate the timeline of electric aviation’s impact in our particular segment of the market. With its combination of distributed electric propulsion and a modern airframe that still uses traditional construction, flight controls, and the like, the Airflow aircraft has a definable development timeline and a clear path to certification.

“There’s a lot of exciting innovation happening in aviation, but not all of it will deliver a meaningful impact in the coming decade; we think this will. Both of our ambitious companies will see growth in the coming years thanks to this partnership as it is set up to ensure a smooth operational integration as Tailwind’s seaplane fleet becomes carbon-free while emitting a vastly reduced noise footprint.”

Airflow was founded in 2019 by five former Airbus Vahana team members to bring eSTOL capabilities to the passenger and middle-mile logistics market. The team is passionate about expanding aviation’s benefits to the world and has deep experience in aerospace and technology development.

The founding team’s background includes Airbus, Eclipse Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Uber Elevate, Airware, and Scaled Composites.

Ausman adds: “On the heels of our collaboration with Pipistrel and investment from industry leaders such as Plug Power, we’re confident that our aircraft will deliver benefits in addition to sustainability including lower operating costs, quieter operations, shorter takeoff and landing distances, and faster cruise speeds.”