Bristow, Electra to Develop Hybrid eSTOL

Plans between the two companies include a future joint turn-key transport service to focus on middle-mile logistics for retail distribution and passenger services. Electra

Bristow Group and signed an agreement Thursday that commits the two companies to collaborate on Electra’s hybrid-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft.

Electra expects to deliver 50 of these low-emission aircraft to Bristow.

“Just as Bristow pioneered the vertical transportation market some 70+ years ago, this [agreement] sets the stage for early collaboration and development between Bristow and Electra for a new class of aircraft that will allow us to take advantage of the unique capabilities of electric and hybrid power generation technologies to substantially lower carbon emissions and operating costs,” Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw said in a statement.

The aircraft will be able to operate from runways as small as 300x100 feet using a proprietary blown-lift technology where eight engines provide additional wing lift. Hybrid-electric power will also provide internal recharging capabilities for aircraft batteries, eliminating the need for new ground infrastructure.

It is being designed to transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo or move five to seven passengers about 400 to 500 miles. It’ll be able to operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips, and fly missions including:

  • On-demand intracity flights to medical missions
  • Cargo transportation
  • Scheduled passenger service

The two companies will collaborate on safety and operational features to ensure the new eSTOL aircraft’s final configuration, specifications and design features meet customer as well as FAA, EASA and Transport Canada certification and timeline requirements.

They’ll also explore new markets for Bristow operations. A focus will be put on “middle-mile” logistics for retail distribution.

Bristow currently operates a fleet of about 240 aircraft for air mobility transport, including for: *Oil and gas customers*Search and rescue (SAR)*Government and civil organizations

“This will allow us to expand our expertise providing sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport solutions into new potential end markets like moving time-sensitive cargo and passengers regionally,” Bradshaw said.

John Langford, founder and chief executive officer of, also expressed excitement about the union.

“Bristow’s deep experience operating aircraft across a variety of missions is an excellent complement to the Electra team’s extensive experience in designing and building innovative aircraft,” Langford said.

“This collaboration will lead to a more rigorous aircraft capable of addressing operators’ needs across a variety of use cases and will help Electra develop and certify an eSTOL aircraft in as short a period of time as possible.”

The World's Most Widely Read Aviation Magazine|🛩 🚁 ✈️ 🚀

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter