Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo systems, has partnered with AYR Logistics, an aircraft owner and operator with over 20 years of hands-on experience providing logistics support to the humanitarian community, including the United Nations, World Food Programme (WFP), Governments and NGOs. At the Dubai Air Show, Elroy Air and AYR Logistics announced plans to develop an autonomous aerial cargo delivery service for humanitarian use. In an agreement signed in October, AYR committed to purchase up to 100 of Elroy Air’s Chaparral aircraft to augment and expand its humanitarian logistics business.
Speaking from the company’s headquarters in London, Serge Sergeef, CEO of AYR Logistics, said, "We are very excited to be working with Elroy Air as their Humanitarian Partners. Our aircraft need to operate in incredibly challenging and austere conditions, frequently without basic airport infrastructure, so we are very particular about the equipment we use. We need highly-efficient and cost-effective aircraft with excellent dispatch reliability that provide 24-hour, all-weather operations and perform vertical takeoff and landing with pinpoint accuracy. We believe Elroy Air will provide us with that capability. For us, these Cargo-UAVs are heralding a new era in logistics and will undoubtedly become the new workhorse for humanitarian agencies."
“The humanitarian deliveries that AYR Logistics performs represent some of the most important, and challenging logistics work in the world. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the AYR team and to provide them with a new modality of safe, reliable aerial delivery for any environment. It’s an ideal deployment for our Chaparral systems with a world-class partner.
David Merrill Co-founder and CEO Elroy Air
Chaparral is Elroy Air’s VTOL aerial cargo platform. It is a transitioning “lift + cruise” VTOL aircraft with separate vertical and cruise flight lift fans and a hybrid-electric powertrain for long-range mission capabilities. The Chaparral can carry 300–500lbs of cargo over 300 miles.
Stephen Lyons, Chief Development Officer at AYR Logistics, added, "The Elroy Air Chaparral ticks all the boxes for us in terms of costs, safety and environmental footprint. This aircraft will provide a very efficient platform for our humanitarian operations and capacity building projects and is ideally suited to operating in remote locations without infrastructure or ground support. We see the Chaparral as an essential part of our future operations, delivering critical food, shelter, medical supplies, vaccines and equipment directly to those affected communities."
Elroy Air has developed lightweight, aerodynamic modular cargo pods that can be pre-loaded by ground personnel and picked up by the aircraft before takeoff. At the delivery location, the cargo pod is lowered to the ground and released after the system has landed. The Chaparral system can retrieve another pre-packed pod and transport the pod to its next destination, creating a bi-directional conveyor belt through the sky.
“Our team at Elroy Air is proud to support the important humanitarian work that AYR Logistics provides to communities that are difficult to reach due to unreliable roadways, limited airport infrastructure, and hostile environments,” said Elroy Air’s VP of Business Development and Strategy Kofi Asante. “We’ve designed and built the Chaparral aircraft to safely take off and land without any infrastructure and to operate autonomously to deliver medical supplies, food, water and vaccines more frequently to the people who need it most.”
About Elroy Air
Elroy Air is developing industry-first autonomous aircraft systems and software to expand the reach of express shipping to 1Bn+ people worldwide. Building on the powertrain and perception technology enabling the hybrid-electric/autonomous vehicle revolution, its vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aerial logistics systems can operate outside of airport infrastructure and evolve the possible in commercial air cargo. The company’s solutions will expand delivery locations and reduce timeframes, provide immediate aid and relief in disaster and fire fighting situations, as well as rapid autonomous resupply for troops in the field. The company’s headquarters is in South San Francisco, California and it is financed by world-class venture capital firms including Catapult Ventures and Marlinspike Capital, strategic investors including Lockheed Martin Ventures, and pioneering angel investors.