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Electra Unveils Final Configuration of Aircraft With Blown Lift Technology

Not quite an electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL), not a plane either, but something in between. Startup company Electra unveiled its first commercial hybrid-electric aircraft that uses blown lift technology to operate.
Electra unveils its new design for a seven-seater STOL 1 photo
The blown lift technology is not new. The purpose of blown flaps is to re-direct the air generated as a result of forward movement through nozzles over the rear edge of the wing, increasing the lift coefficient. A blown wing can boost the lift of a wing by two to three times in most cases.

The concept of a jet flap, a type of internally blown flap, was tested for the first time on an experimental Hunting H.126 aicraft back in the '60s. Since then, internal blown flaps have been used on some land and carrier-based jets such as Lockheed F-104, Blackburn Buccaneer, as well as certain versions of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.

For the Electra short take-off and landing vehicle (STOL), the blown lift mechanism allows a safe, energy-efficient operation from areas shorter than a soccer field, including rooftops and parking lots. The aircraft features eight electric motors powered by a combination of batteries and a small turbogenerator. This means that the STOL will not require any specific charging infrastructure because the batteries will be recharged mid-flight.

Electra's aim is to use far less power to lift off than vertical take-off and landing variants, allowing for more passengers and cargo while also reducing the energy used. The aircraft is capable of cruising at speeds below 30 mph (48 kph) and reach a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph). It also has a pretty impressive range, as it can carry seven people plus a pilot on a 500 mile (805 km) distance.

For now, the STOL is just a design, but the company has confirmed that it is currently working on a technology demonstrator aircraft. Electra plans to begin tests flights with this model as a first step to achieving type certification in 2026.

press release

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