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.”