Lobo Leasing and Air Taurus, the Irish Group affiliate of humanitarian logistics specialist AYR Logistics, have agreed a lease for five Pipistrel Nuuva V300 hybrid VTOL (hVTOL) unmanned cargo aircraft, the first five of 15 aircraft to be committed to a lease customer under a partnership that was first announced last April.

The lease is aligned with the Nuuva V300 development program and targets delivery of the first units to Air Taurus between 2025 and 2026, a clear demonstration of the anticipated market demand for operating lease solutions for advanced new-technology aircraft and the enthusiasm from investors for participating in the market through a lease manager.

Air Taurus will deploy the Nuuva V300 aircraft in AYR’s global humanitarian operations, with the ability to move critically needed cargo, including food and medical supplies, across areas with a limited or degraded ground infrastructure.

The Nuuva V300 is designed as a sustainably powered cargo aircraft using a hybrid propulsion system including electric motors for vertical lift and a fuel efficient, full authority digital engine control (FADEC) power plant for cruise flight.

The NUUVA V300 currently under development is planned to have a cruise speed of approximately 120 knots with a cargo capacity of up to 300kg and maximum range of 300km with reserves.

Lobo Leasing senior VP Gustavo Semeraro said: “We are proud to continue at the forefront of this fast-developing market by bringing a pioneering partnership to develop a financial solution to support AYR’s crucial humanitarian work.

“AYR is a respected and experienced operator, and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with them on finalising a letter of intent (LOI). The V300 has the potential to transform the humanitarian aviation sector by bringing an entirely new approach to the delivery of long-standing operational requirements”.

AYR chief development officer Stephen Lyons added: “This marks an important step forward in our plans to introduce unmanned aircraft to the humanitarian sector. We are grateful to Lobo Leasing for its support and the shared vision we have for the humanitarian application of unmanned aircraft.”

Air Taurus is a group affiliate of AYR Logistics, a UK-based logistics and aviation services company with more than 20 years of experience in humanitarian and peacekeeping logistics support, and Air Taurus LLC, a Ukrainian helicopter operator which provides helicopter transport for humanitarian and peacekeeping cargo and passenger operations, EMS, SAR and aerial firefighting. Air Taurus Limited focuses on developing and operating Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems for humanitarian and commercial operations in extreme and demanding environments.