Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: VTOL), the world’s leading global provider of vertical flight solutions to government and civil organizations, and Electra.aero, Inc. a pioneering developer of clean and efficient aviation technology solutions, today announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to pursue a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) and Purchase Agreement under which the two firms will cooperate on the technical development and certification, as well as marketing and future operations of Electra’s hybrid-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, with an expected volume of 50 aircraft.
The two companies will collaborate on developing a full range of safety and operational features to ensure the new eSTOL aircraft’s final configuration, specifications and design features meet customer as well as FAA, EASA and Transport Canada certification and timeline requirements. The companies will also explore new markets for Bristow operations utilizing the Electra eSTOL aircraft, with a focus on “middle mile” logistics for retail distribution, expanding Bristow’s service to their existing customer base and specialized passenger services. Today, Bristow operates a fleet of approximately 240 of the industry’s most modern aircraft for air mobility transport uses including oil and gas customers, search and rescue (SAR), and government and civil organizations, with annual revenues of over $1.2 billion.
“Just as Bristow pioneered the vertical transportation market some 70+ years ago, this MOU sets the stage for early collaboration and development between Bristow and Electra for a new class of aircraft that will allow us to take advantage of the unique capabilities of electric and hybrid power generation technologies to substantially lower carbon emissions and operating costs. This will allow us to expand our expertise providing sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport solutions into new potential end markets like moving time-sensitive cargo and passengers regionally,” said Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw. “As today’s global leader in vertical lift, Bristow can leverage our operational expertise to help Electra design and build the next generation of aircraft that fully utilizes the eSTOL concept in existing and new end markets.”
“Bristow’s deep experience operating aircraft across a variety of missions is an excellent complement to the Electra team’s extensive experience in designing and building innovative aircraft. This collaboration will lead to a more rigorous aircraft capable of addressing operators’ needs across a variety of use cases and will help Electra develop and certify an eSTOL aircraft in as short a period of time as possible,” said John S. Langford, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Electra.aero. “As our principal launch operational customer, Bristow will benefit from early access to Electra’s aircraft, which will deliver more than twice the payload, fly longer ranges, and have substantially lower operating costs than vertical take-off alternatives — with much less certification risk. We expect to deliver 50 or more aircraft to Bristow to provide low-emission transport services in exciting new markets.”
Electra’s eSTOL aircraft can operate from runways as small as 300×100 feet using a proprietary proven blown lift technology where eight engines provide additional wing lift, and hybrid-electric power that provides internal recharging capabilities for aircraft batteries, eliminating the need for new ground infrastructure. The quieter and more environmentally friendly aircraft is currently being designed to transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo or move 5 to 7 passengers about 400 to 500 miles. Electra’s aircraft can operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips, and fly missions ranging from on-demand intracity flights to medical missions, cargo transportation, scheduled passenger service, and more. With greater payload capabilities, longer range, and lower operating costs than competitors, Electra’s eSTOL represents the next generation of novel aircraft. For more information, visit www.electra.aero.
Forward Looking Statements Disclosure
This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements represent Bristow Group Inc.’s (the “Company”) current expectations or forecasts of future events. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “project,” or “continue,” or other similar words. These statements are made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, reflect management’s current views with respect to future events and therefore are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the capabilities, development, certification, marketing, and future operations of Electra’s hybrid-electric aircraft, the Company’s purchase of aircraft from Electra, and the anticipated benefits of the collaboration between the Company and Electra. The Company’s actual results may vary materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements.
The Company disclaims any obligation or undertaking to provide any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which the forward-looking statement is based that occur after the date hereof. You should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements because the matters they describe are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our forward-looking statements are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these matters or how they may affect us. We have included important factors in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 (the “Annual Report”) which we believe over time, could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ from the anticipated results, performance or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. You should consider all risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Annual Report and in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), all of which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
About Bristow Group
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions. Bristow primarily provides aviation services to a broad base of major integrated, national and independent offshore energy companies. Bristow provides commercial search and rescue (SAR) services in several countries and public sector SAR services in the United Kingdom (U.K.) on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). Additionally, the Company offers ad hoc helicopter and fixed wing transportation services. Bristow currently has customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad, the U.K. and the U.S. To learn more, visit our website at www.bristowgroup.com.
Electra.aero, Inc. is a next-gen aerospace company leading the way in sustainable urban and regional mobility. The company is building environmentally friendly electric, ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) airplanes that fly people and cargo quieter, further, and more affordably. Electra’s eSTOL aircraft use a proprietary hybrid-electric propulsion system, where batteries and a small turbine-powered generator work together to drive electric motors distributed across the wing, giving the aircraft its unique ability to operate out of small spaces as short as 300×100 feet. The aircraft is currently being designed to transport up to 1800 lbs of cargo or move 5 to7 passengers about 500 miles, operable in all weather conditions. Batteries are recharged mid-flight, eliminating the need for new ground charging infrastructure and enabling quick flight turnaround in diverse environments. A steep take-off and landing profile enables access in tight urban spaces and landing directly at a destination, leading to the elimination of hubs. Electra is collaborating with air transport and ground infrastructure operators to achieve a turnkey solution for diverse markets. Electra’s team includes some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design, and its technology development is supported by NASA and the DOD. To learn more, visit our website at www.electra.aero.