Surf Air Mobility, a company working to accelerate the adoption of green aviation, has entered into contracts with magniX, a leader in electric aviation propulsion, and AeroTEC, a premier aircraft development and integration company, to develop and certify hybrid and fully-electric powertrains for new and existing Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft. These hybrid and fully-electric aircraft will be designed to reduce operating costs and emissions and greatly improve the affordability of regional air mobility.
SAM has also announced today that the Company has entered into a business combination agreement with Tuscan Holdings Corp. II (“THCA”), that will result, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain closing conditions, in SAM becoming a publicly listed company.
SAM plans to develop supplemental type certificates (“STC”) for its proprietary electrification solutions, powered by magniX’s market-leading electric propulsion units (“EPUs”). AeroTEC will provide engineering, testing, program management, and certification expertise to support design, development, and FAA Certification. magniX and AeroTEC have successfully flown a fully-electric Cessna Grand Caravan 208B, demonstrating the technology and proving the feasibility of the future of electrified air travel.
“AeroTEC’s capabilities, deep experience in design, engineering and program management of certification of STCs are well known. magniX is a leader in the development of aircraft electric propulsion systems and innovation. AeroTEC and magniX are perfect partners for SAM to accelerate electrification of Cessna Grand Caravans and to lead the new era of green flying,” said Sudhin Shahani, Co-founder and CEO of Surf Air Mobility.
SAM intends to first develop and commercialize hybrid electric aircraft to accelerate entry into market for operators and consumers of sustainable air travel without the need for charging infrastructure. The hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravans will, in due course, be operated on SAM’s consumer platform and intends to make these available to third-party operators. SAM further intends to upgrade existing combustion turboprop aircraft already in service by installing its proprietary hybrid electric powertrains in existing Caravan aircraft, reducing direct operating costs and emissions.
SAM also announced today its definitive agreement to merge with Southern Airways Corporation (“Southern Airways”), subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain closing
conditions and subject to certain regulatory review. Southern Airways is one of the largest passenger operators of Cessna Caravans in the US, and is expected to lead the introduction of SAM’s electrified powertrains to the market.
SAM’s first-generation hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravans are being designed to target carbon emissions reductions of up to 50% and direct operating cost reductions of up to 25%. The Company anticipates its initial hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravans, once developed, will have the same flight range as their turbine combustion engine counterpart, allowing the hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan to operate on regional routes across the US. The hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravans will not require charging infrastructure on the ground.
“Working with Surf Air Mobility will accelerate our shared vision of electrifying air travel and realize the benefits of an electrified Cessna Grand Caravan within the next few years,” said Dominique Spragg, Chairman of magniX.
SAM’s STC to install the hybrid electric magniX solution is expected to create a path for magniX’s existing pipeline of approximately 50 Grand Caravan aircraft.
“We’re at the beginning of aviation’s next major evolution, and we’re excited to help lead the industry forward with Surf Air Mobility,” said Lee Human, President & CEO of AeroTEC. “Our decades of experience bringing new aviation technologies to market will help accelerate the commercialization of SAM’s hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan and set the stage for the development of additional aircraft types.”
With commercially available hybrid electric aircraft only a few years away, followed by fully-electric aircraft, the Company believes that SAM, magniX, and AeroTEC form the team to bring affordable, sustainable air travel to market as quickly as possible.