Entrepreneur Aura Aero electrifies aviation to reduce its environmental impact

Aura Aero electrifies aviation to reduce its environmental impact

Aura Aero has taken off. The start-up launched this summer, at Toulouse Francazal airport, the series production of the Integral, its small aircraft designed for training and aerobatics. This light two-seater made of wood and composite materials is available in two versions, the Integral R for aerobatics and the army which will be certified at the end of the year, and the Integral S for flying clubs and schools.

Powered by two former Airbus engineers and one from Assystem, Fabien Raison, Jérémy Caussade and Wilfried Dufaud, Aura Aero was created in 2018 in Cugnaux (Haute-Garonne). The young shoot has already recorded 4 firm orders for this aircraft sold from 300,000 euros excluding tax, from the Midi-Pyrénées Voltige and Dijon Voltige clubs, from the Châteauroux flying club and from an English individual, as well as around a hundred ‘purchase intentions, including 20 from Aelis Group.

An all-electric version of the Integral is planned for next year. “Professional pilot schools will be our first customers and the military markets will be huge in the next five, especially for the electric version,” says Jérémy Caussade, president of Aura Aero.

Aviation decarbonization

Aura Aero has great ambitions in electric aviation. The start-up is preparing a 19-seater hybrid-powered regional transport aircraft. This Electric regional aircraft (ERA) will be equipped with an oil-fired turbogenerator which will produce electricity for the electric motors, and structural batteries to contain the weight. The objective is to reduce CO2 emissions on flights of less than 400 kilometers, by 80% between 400 and 800 km and by 64% beyond that, to almost zero.

“Aeronautics needs to make its energy transition and there are decarbonisation solutions”, assures Jérémy Caussade. A first flight of the ERA is scheduled for 2024 and entry into service in 2026. Led by a single pilot, it will be able to land on small aerodromes and transport freight. Aura Aero is studying the project with a pool of airlines. This aircraft program is supported by Bpifrance and the Occitanie region.

After raising less than 10 million euros from Innovacom and business owners in the sector, Aura Aero hopes to complete a “double-digit” round of funding at the end of 2021 to finance its growth. The start-up, which has grown from two to 80 employees in two years, should be hired by around 20 by the end of the year.

* The Entrepreneur of the Year award is organized by EY, in partnership with HSBC, Verlingue, Steelcase and Bpifrance.

correspondent in Toulouse

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