LONDON – LCI Aviation, a leading aviation company that is a subsidiary of Libra Group, has signed an agreement with Elroy Air, a developer of advanced autonomous cargo aircraft systems for 40 Chaparral VTOL autonomous aircraft.
LCI has entered a committed order of up to 40 of Elroy Air’s Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
The investment made by LCI in Elroy Air’s system underpins the company’s long-term commitment and trust toward sustainable growth and innovation.
Under the terms of the deposit-backed agreement, LCI will initially acquire 20 aircraft, with an option for another batch of 20 planes, which makes a total of 40 planes. The VTOL aircraft is currently under development at Elroy Air’s facility in South San Francisco, California.
About the Chaparral VTOL
The Chaparral is the first end-to-end autonomous VTOL cargo delivery system. It is designed for aerial transport of up to 500 lbs (225 kgs) of goods over a 300-nautical mile range.
This is enabled initially by a turbine-based hybrid-electric powertrain with distributed electrical propulsion and specially designed aerodynamic modular cargo pods.
Its applications include safe, efficient, and cost-effective aerial cargo transport for commercial logistics, disaster relief, firefighting, and humanitarian operations without risk to pilots or the need for airport infrastructure.
Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “This commitment for the pioneering Chaparral system will enable us to efficiently support mission-critical, remote logistical work and socially responsible humanitarian efforts around the world.”
“It will do so in complement with the wide-ranging capabilities of our existing aviation fleet.”
“We have been impressed with Elroy Air’s vision and approach and look forward to working closely with the team on a wide range of opportunities.”
“This forms part of our wider advanced air mobility strategy and will strengthen LCI’s position as a leading provider of leasing, financing, and investing solutions for this new and exciting market.”
David Merrill, CEO, and Co-Founder of Elroy Air says:
“We’re experiencing an enthusiastic response to the Chaparral and its capabilities to serve as a key part of a safe, efficient, and capable fleet of aircraft to respond in emergency situations, protect pilots, and enable rapid logistics in a new and sustainable way.”
“Through our agreement with LCI, the Chaparral will be available for financing – enabling much broader access to the aircraft. We are proud that the Chaparral will now be part of LCI’s aviation fleet and look forward to providing aerial cargo transport globally.”
LCI existing fleet
The new VTOL aircraft will complement LCI’s existing fleet of modern helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
In addition, LCI and its parent company, Libra Group, whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in approximately 60 countries, plan to share commercial, financial and end-user expertise with Elroy Air through well-established industry networks.
LCI maintains a growing, sustainable, and future-focused fleet of young, modern aviation assets, which are leased to major operators and end-users around the world.
Many are deployed in mission-critical and socially responsible sectors such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), and offshore wind energy.