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Perth-based start-up to bring electric air taxis to WA in 2026

written by Hannah Dowling | January 18, 2022

An artist’s impression of an Electron 5 vehicle parked at an airport. (FlyOnE)

Perth-based electric aviation start-up FlyOnE is aiming to introduce a zero-emission regional air taxi network in Western Australia in 2026, with a new deal to secure 28 electric fixed-wing aircraft.

The company has partnered with Dutch electric aircraft manufacturer ELECTRON Aerospace to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to purchase 28 of ELECTRON’s electric aircraft and has been promised priority delivery across 2026 and 2027.

The order includes 26 of ELECTRON’s “Electron 5” five-seater short take-off and landing (STOL) vehicles, as well as two smaller trainer aircraft.

With its new electric fleet, FlyOnE intends to build a complete electric zero-emissions regional network, dubbed the Lilypad Elevate network.

Its Lilypad Elevate network is planned to span across 25 regional airports in Western Australia, with over 30 point-to-point connections throughout the state.

The five-seat Electron 5 fixed-wing aircraft can fly up to 750 kilometres on a single charge, at a top speed of 300km per hour, and its STOL capabilities mean it can operate even at some of WA’s smallest airfields.

Ahead of welcoming the vehicles, FlyOnE is also gearing up to install solar-powered charging infrastructure for its new aircraft, with proposed charging sites including Perth, Rottnest Island, Murray Field Airport, Mundaring Airport, White Gum Air Park and Northam Airport.

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As such, the start-up is hoping to launch its new regional network once the vehicles are delivered in 2026.

FlyOnE CEO Korum Ellis said that the company conducted an “extensive market scan” prior to landing on the Electron 5 for its Lilypad Elevate network.

“Quickly, we ruled out eVTOLs due to their limited range,” Ellis said.

“The Electron 5 best meets our mission profile – both in terms of range as well as available seats.

“Knowing that the Electron 5 achieves the required performance with today’s battery technology gives us the confidence that the aircraft will be delivered on time.”

The announcement makes FlyOnE the launch customer of the Electron 5 aircraft, with ELECTRON Aerospace chief operating officer Marc-Henry de Jong welcoming the new partnership.

“As our companies share the vision of ‘making zero emission, on-demand, regional air mobility a reality’, we believe that this is just the start of a long and prosperous partnership,” he said.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will explore other potential areas of cooperation, including aircraft distribution, servicing and potentially manufacturing. So, watch this space.”

The news follows a number of key announcements made over on the east coast, which could see electric air taxis hit Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne by 2025.

In December 2020, Embraer’s air taxi offshoot Eve Urban Air Mobility partnered with Airservices Australia to reveal an initial concept of operations (CONOPS) for the flying taxi market in Melbourne.

The CONOPS explored the foundation of new and practical concepts to safely facilitate the introduction of air taxis in the city.

Eve noted that off the back of the Australian government’s support of urban air traffic management solutions and the country’s strong aviation safety record, Australia could be one of the world’s first urban air mobility markets.

Last year, Eve announced a new partnership with Melbourne-based charter helicopter operator Microflite that will work to lay the foundations and “validate parameters” so eVTOL vehicles can launch in the city in just five years’ time.

It came shortly after Eve announced a separate partnership with Ascent to allow the revolutionary aircraft to be booked via an Uber-style app.

More recently, two new deals were announced that will see eVTOL aircraft touch down in both Sydney and Cairns – the first announcements of its kind outside of Melbourne.

In December, Eve partnered with Cairns-based helicopter tourism operator Nautilus Aviation in order to bring eVTOLs to Queensland.

Under the agreement, Nautilus is set to welcome up to 10 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft to replace part of its current helicopter fleet, and perform tourist flights throughout northern Queensland, including the iconic Great Barrier Reef, by 2026.

Then, just days later, Eve penned a deal with Sydney Seaplanes that will see the iconic Sydney-based aviation tourism provider purchase up to 50 of Eve’s eVTOLs, with deliveries also expected to commence in 2026.

Comment (1)

  • Jeff Brooks

    says:

    The only current certified electric aircraft in the world can carry One pax, just 75 kilometres at 100 kilometres per hour.
    (Pipistrel Velios) Made by a real aircraft manufacturer that has built 1000+ aircraft.

    This new start up has never built an aircraft – yet is claiming 5 pax, 750 kilometer range and 300 kph speeds….
    5 times the payload, 10 times the range at 3 times the speed ?? Really ?

    Dreaming.

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