Electric Regional Aircraft Firm Signs Deal for 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EXs

According to Textron, Surf Air Mobility has paid the deposit for the first of 100 aircraft with the option for an additional 50.

Rendering of a Hybrid Electric Grand Caravan [Courtesy: Textron]

Surf Air Mobility Inc., a Southern California aerospace company devoted to developing regional air travel through the power of electrification, has placed an order for 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft.

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

According to Textron, Surf Air Mobility has paid the deposit for the first of 100 aircraft with the option for an additional 50. The deliveries of the aircraft are expected to begin in the first half of 2024. 

The aircraft will be upgraded to operate using Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary electric or hybrid-electric powertrain technology. Surf Air Mobility states its mission as  bringing electrified aircraft to market at scale, thus reducing the environmental impact and cost of flying. The company anticipates type certification from the FAA in 2026.

Surf Air Mobility will also be the exclusive provider to Textron Aviation of certain battery-electric and hybrid-electric powertrain technologies for the Cessna Grand Caravan.

“We are excited to see Surf Air’s progress in expanding their fleet with deliveries expected to begin early next year,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, global sales and flight operations for Textron Aviation. “The Cessna Caravan’s adaptability for passenger and cargo operations makes it an ideal platform for hybrid-electric and electric-propulsion innovations. This exclusive relationship demonstrates Textron Aviation’s commitment to the future of sustainable flight.”

 Said Sudhim Shahani, co-founder of Surf Air Mobility: “Our relationship with Textron Aviation is paramount in our mission to revolutionize air travel. This initial fleet delivery solidifies our commitment to bringing advanced electric aircraft to market to reduce fuel emissions and the cost of air travel.”

According to Surf Air Mobility, the hybrid-electric Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft will be utilized across its own network for short-haul direct service. 

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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