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Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility Confirm 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX Aircraft Deal

Textron Aviation has announced the confirmed order of the first 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft by Surf Air Mobility Inc. This development underlines the advancing exclusive relationship between both companies. It supports Surf Air Mobility’s plan to introduce an electrified version of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft.

Textron Aviation has announced the confirmed order of the first 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft by Surf Air Mobility Inc. This development underlines the advancing exclusive relationship between both companies. It supports Surf Air Mobility’s plan to introduce an electrified version of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft.

Green Skies Ahead: The Promise of Electrified Flight

The partnership between Surf Air Mobility (SAM) and Textron Aviation Inc. paves the way for electric and turbine-hybrid commercial air travel. This comes as a breath of fresh air in an industry aiming for drastic carbon reduction.

Key highlights of this groundbreaking collaboration include:

  • Delivery Timeline: The first 20 aircraft deliveries are scheduled for the first half of 2024.
  • Electric Vision: SAM’s development of an electrified Cessna Grand Caravan EX is on track, eyeing FAA certification by 2026.
  • Scaling Up: SAM’s option to purchase up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft underscores their commitment to electrification.
  • Eco-conversions: the acquired aircraft will undergo upgrades to incorporate SAM’s proprietary electric or hybrid-electric powertrain technology.

A Collaborative Leap Towards Electrified Aircraft

Surf Air Mobility has already paid the deposit for the 20 aircraft. This marks the initial phase of their previously announced fleet order, which might go up to 100 aircraft. Moreover, there’s an option for 50 more, setting the stage for a comprehensive collaboration.

Scheduled for delivery in 2024’s first half, this acquisition signifies major progress in their exclusive partnership. Surf Air Mobility has big plans for these aircraft. Their vision is to upgrade the single-engine turboprops to Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary electric or hybrid-electric powertrain technology. They are targeting FAA supplemental type certification (STC) by 2026.

Lannie O’Bannion, the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Flight Operations, expressed enthusiasm. ““The Cessna Caravan’s adaptability for passenger and cargo operations makes it an ideal platform for hybrid electric and electric propulsion innovations. This exclusive relationship demonstrates Textron Aviation’s commitment to the future of sustainable flight.”

Surf Air Mobility foresees using the hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft across their network, aiming to sustainably connect communities. They also plan to be the exclusive provider of certain electric and hybrid-electric powertrain technologies to Textron Aviation for the Cessna Grand Caravan.

“We know from our experience that people are looking for faster, affordable, and cleaner regional travel, and we are building the ecosystem to accelerate the industry’s adoption of electric flight. We believe that significantly reducing the emissions from this category of aircraft will be the biggest step we can take toward de-carbonization in this decade,” said Sudhin Shahani, co-founder of Surf Air Mobility.

A Game-Changer for Air Travel

What does this electrification mean for everyday air travelers and operators?

  • Cost-Efficiency: Electrification could slash direct operating costs by 25-50%.
  • Environmental Impact: A potential reduction in carbon emissions by 50-100% is on the horizon.
  • Greater Accessibility: Over 5,000 public use airports across the US could potentially benefit.There is no immediate need for charging stations for hybrid iterations.
  • Expanding Routes: A new point-to-point route network is poised to make direct flights cheaper and more widespread.
  • Upgrade Options: Existing Cessna Grand Caravan owners and operators have an open door to embrace the electric or hybrid powertrains.

About the Cessna Grand Caravan EX

The Cessna Caravan fleet, boasts more than 3,000 aircraft, and is globally certified in 100 countries. It has accumulated over 24 million flight hours since its inception. These aircraft have been fulfilling diverse roles, including flight training, VIP transport, cargo transport, and humanitarian missions. The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is engineered especially for challenging missions and high payloads. It can operate on short and rough runways.

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