Falls Church air taxi startup gets big backing, Lockheed Martin

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Falls Church-based Electra.aero, which hopes to begin test flights of its prototype electric air taxi later this year, has backing from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

Falls Church, Va.-based Electra.aero, which hopes to begin test flights of its prototype electric air taxi later this year, has backing from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Ventures of Lockheed invested in the company through a Series A funding round, although the dollar amount of the partnership was not disclosed.



Electra.aero’s hybrid-electric ultra-short take-off and landing aircraft, or eSTOL, can take off and land in as little as 100 feet using distributed electric propulsion lift technology. A small turbine generator recharges the batteries in mid-flight. It was designed to carry up to nine passengers or 1,800 pounds of cargo up to 500 miles.

It is developing the aircraft for a variety of uses, including on-demand intra-city flights for medical missions, cargo transportation and scheduled passenger service.

“Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver an operational and environmental advantage over other aircraft, including increased payload and range without relying on battery enhancement. We invested in Electra because of its focus on hybrid-electric technology,” said Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures.

The electric air taxi developed by Electra.aero would have various uses, including on-demand intra-city flights for medical missions, cargo transport and passenger service. (Courtesy of Electra.aero)

“Lockheed is a leader in aerospace and defense, and we believe this relationship is complementary for Electra and Lockheed Martin. Hybrid-electric propulsion will influence every aspect of aviation,” said John Langford, Founder and CEO from Electra.

Electra unveiled its commuter airplane concept last summer.

Langford founded another local aviation innovator, Aurora Flight Sciences, a developer of manned and unmanned aircraft based in Manassas, Va., which Boeing acquired in 2017.

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