Norway’s Elfly Group has gained a USD8 million grant from Enova SF, the country’s Ministry of Climate and Environment Agency, “to forge ahead” with the production of its full-scale prototype of an all-electric commercial seaplane called The Noemi, reports a press release.
This award underlines the Norwegian Government’s commitment to a low emission society and its ambition to make domestic flying emission free by 2040. Having been awarded already more than USD10 million in soft funding, along with a similar amount from early investors, Elfly can now move forward with its development progress at its Jarlsberg, Norway facility.
Eric Lithun, Elfly’s CEO, commented, “Our team is delighted by the recognition and endorsement of Noemi by the Agency and for viewing the business as a viable program.”
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Backed by Norway’s Innovation Research Foundation, SINTEF, Noemi is being designed for flexible regional mobility in Norway and the prototype (non-passenger version) is being prepared for its first flight in 2025. The seaplane is being designed for 200km commercial air journeys, flying at up to 250kmh, from 2030.
The plane will carry from nine to 13 people and be powered by two electric motors with up to 1MW combined output and lithium batteries. It will have an unpressurised cabin, big windows and a large access door. Following the selection of U.S‑based Electric Power Systems (EPS) as its battery supplier, Elfly’s next priority is to confirm the engine provider.
The company’s vision is to operate 15 Noemi seaplane’s under its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Elfly is focusing on the home market first and creating its own infrastructure around the 1,000 plus fjords and 450,000 lakes. As 80 percent of the world population lives close to water, the company then intends to explore opportunities in other “short hop markets.”
Lithun continued, “Many Norwegians live by fjords and lakes, but need access to hospitals, big cities and connections to the world. Our fjords can be turned into potential (floating) airports without destroying nature. While the country is home to 5.5 million people, we consume 10 times more travel — the equivalent of a population of 55 million.”
Elfly will be participating at Norway’s Green Aviation Conference ZERAC23 on September 20th at Sentalen, Oslo.
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(Images: Elfly Group)