Electra.aero has received an investment in its Series A funding round from Lockheed Martin Ventures (LMV), the venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The funding will support Electra’s plans to begin flight testing a full-scale hybrid eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft later this year.

Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of LMV, said: “We invested in Electra because of its focus on hybrid-electric technology. Electra’s technical approach to sustainable aviation is differentiated, and we are excited to see this concept mature.

“Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver operational and environmental advantages over other aircraft, including increased payload and range without gambling on battery improvements. We look forward to working with the Electra team and hope to partner on opportunities in the future.”

Electra’s eSTOL aircraft can operate from spaces as small as 300×100 feet using its patent- pending distributed electric propulsion and blown lift technology. A small turbine-powered generator also recharges the batteries mid-flight, eliminating the need for new ground charging infrastructure.

The quieter and more environmentally friendly aircraft is currently being designed to transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo or move 7 to 9 passengers up to 500 miles.

Electra’s aircraft can operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips, and fly missions ranging from on-demand intracity flights to medical missions, cargo transportation, scheduled passenger service, and more.

John S. Langford, Founder and CEO of Electra, said: “We are excited to welcome Lockheed Martin Ventures as one of our strategic and key investors in our Series A funding round. Lockheed Martin is a leader in aerospace and defense and we believe this relationship is a complementary one for Electra and Lockheed Martin. We’re honoured to have them on our team.”

Electra is building clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing airplanes that fly people and cargo quieter, further, and more affordably. It says its technology delivers 2.5x the payload and 10x longer range with 70 per cent lower operating costs than vertical takeoff alternatives with much less certification risk, proving that climate friendly technology can also be cost-effective.

Electra is collaborating with air transport and ground infrastructure operators to achieve turnkey solutions for any market. Electra’s team includes some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design, including Randy Griffiths, who joined as Head of Certification. Its technology development is supported by NASA and the US Air Force’s Agility Prime.

In terms of partnerships, Electra has teamed up with companies across the world. These include Flapper in South America and Skyportz in Australia, flyv in Europe and Bristow Helicopters in the USA.