Elfly Adds Facilities at Torp Airport to Build Fjord-Hopping Electric Seaplane

Torp is the largest privately owned airport in Norway, where Elfly intends to launch operations of its amphibious Noemi (short for no emissions) in 2029.

Elfly electric seaplane

Elfly will build its first full-scale, all-electric Noemi seaplane prototype at Sandefjord Airport, Torp in Norway. [Courtesy: Elfly Group]

The manufacturer of a 19-seat, all-electric seaplane has picked the location where it will build its flagship design.

Elfly, the developer of Noemi (short for no emissions), moved into new facilities last week at Sandefjord Airport, Torp (ENTO), about 70 miles south of Oslo, Norway. Torp is the largest privately-owned airport in the country, and Elfly will use the site to build its first full-scale Noemi prototype, as well as for testing and validation.

Elfly bills Noemi as a “modern-day amphibious aircraft,” powered by batteries and a pair of electric engines, with a large access door and windows. The design was inspired by predecessors such as the de Havilland Twin Otter and Grumman Mallard. It is expected to have a 124 sm (108 nm) range.

Elfly hopes to bring Noemi to market in 2029. It will begin with the complex landscape of Norway and its thousands of fjords and lakes before expanding worldwide. It’s unclear where the company will fly next, but its website depicts maps of New York City, Miami, Seattle, and major cities in Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Oceania.

Before that, the company intends to fly its full-scale Noemi prototype in 2026. That model will feature an unpressurized cabin powered by twin electric motors with up to 1 megawatt of combined output.

Ultimately, Noemi will offer commuting and sightseeing flights from city centers to islands or from harbors to airports, for example. Elfly is also developing models for cargo transport and medical evacuation. The company aims to save a total of 3 megatons of carbon emissions by 2050, aligning with Norway’s goal for domestic aviation to be emission-free by 2040.

The design is part of a research project funded by private investors and the Research Council of Norway, and Elfly is collaborating with the Norwegian government to develop it. The company will use an $8 million grant it recently obtained from Enova SF, a government enterprise that promotes environmentally friendly energy production and consumption.

“Torp Airport is an excellent new location for us to build and engineer while we retain our business unit in Bergen, [Norway],” said Elfly founder and CEO Eric Lithun. “It affords us plenty of space to grow for testing and also as we ramp up our team this year. Moreover, the airport’s dynamic management is very enthused by our plans to return seaplane travel to the fjords and lakes of Norway—and beyond, using electric power.”

The airport includes a full-scale NATO standard runway. It hosts national and international scheduled air services from Wideroe, Ryanair, Air Baltic, Norwegian, and Wizz Air, as well as various charter flights.

Elfly will take over a 1,160-square-meter office and workshop space within Torp’s 1,700-square-meter hangar, where it will build the first Noemi prototype. The company’s new neighbors include Norwegian Air Ambulance and its fleet of Airbus H135 and H145 helicopters, multiple flying schools and training centers, and Wilderoe’s Dash 8-Q400 maintenance facility.

Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin this summer. In anticipation of the move, Elfly recently expanded its team to include 30 senior engineers, with new arrivals from Airbus, Pilatus Aircraft, HondaJet, Dornier Seawings, and Heart Aerospace.

“Torp is encouraging Elfly in its efforts to introduce zero-emission aircraft, as electric planes undoubtedly will contribute towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly aviation,” said Gisle Skansen, CEO of TORP Sandefjord Airport. “We look forward to following their progress very closely as a valued new tenant.”

Elfly is targeting certification for Noemi under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) CS-23 normal aircraft category up to Level 4, which it says will allow the design to evolve into a 19-seat seaplane.

Initially, it will be offered in a business or executive cabin configuration for nine passengers plus luggage. The manufacturer will also offer a “VIP layout” with six seats and a “tourist pleasure” model for 13 passengers, minus baggage.

Elfly intends to operate 15 Noemi aircraft under its own Air Operator Certificate, which it recently announced it is targeting. In December, the firm signed a letter of intent with the Lofoten Islands region to develop a zero-emission regional aviation ecosystem in the archipelago. The islands are expected to be one of the company’s launch markets.

At EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this past July, Elfly selected U.S. firm Electric Power Systems as the battery provider for Noemi. The company is now focused on confirming an engine provider.

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Jack is a staff writer covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel—and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.

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