Textron Aviation announced Surf Air Mobility signed a purchase agreement for up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprop aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 100 aircraft and an option for 50 more.The order, which is subject to Surf Air Mobility obtaining financing, is part of an exclusive relationship between the two companies supporting Surf Air Mobility’s development of electrified Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, beginning with a hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft powered by Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary powertrain technology. Textron Aviation’s initial deliveries of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to Surf Air Mobility, a company accelerating the adoption of electric regional air travel, are expected to begin in Q2 2022. Surf Air anticipates that its hybrid electric system for the Grand Caravan, upon certification, will power a 9-seat variant of the iconic single-engine turboprop.
“Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “This relationship with Surf Air Mobility leverages the unique performance capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan in both passenger and cargo operations and continues to demonstrate the aircraft’s adaptability for innovative missions and configurations.”
The hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft is anticipated to be utilised by Surf Air Mobility across its own network, connecting more airports with short-haul direct service across the US on a path to creating a regional mass transport platform to sustainably connect communities. “This is an opportunity to showcase the combined expertise and technologies of both Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Textron eAviation. “The outstanding capabilities and versatility of the Grand Caravan make it an ideal aircraft to take advantage of this new technology.”
“The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is one of the most adaptable and prolific aircraft in flight today. Through this exclusive relationship with Textron Aviation, we’re able to make electrified aircraft broadly available to existing and new operators, and bring the benefits of lower cost, lower emission air travel to customers faster and at scale,” said Sudhin Shahani, co-founder, CEO and executive chairman, Surf Air Mobility. “We believe electrifying the Cessna Grand Caravan is the most significant step that can be made toward reduced emission flying with the quickest path to market.”
The transactions between Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility are subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of financing by Surf Air Mobility.