American developer of autonomous aircraft systems Elroy Air has achieved the first flight of its turbogenerator-hybrid electric vertical takeoff and landing (hVTOL) aircraft, the Chaparrai C1, in an industry first for the configuration. The uncrewed platform, which features distributed electric propulsion and a turbogenerator-battery architecture, took off vertically before flying for 57 seconds in what Elroy Air co-founder and CEO Dave Merrill described as a “major moment for the industry”. “Hybrid-electric aircraft enable the dual benefits of runway-independent safe redundant propulsion, and long-range flight well in excess of battery power alone,” he elaborated. The Chaparri aircraft is described as being
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