Pochet Aerospace’s first investment round raises €1.5m for seaplane
Pochet Aerospace has opened its first capital round and raises €1.5m to launch the production of its Morgann seaplane.
The amphibious aircraft, with foils and retractable wings, will initially be constructed as a 1:3 flying demonstrator to prove the concept. The demonstrator will also assist the development of a surveillance drone. The overall project of the Sète-based start-up is estimated at nearly €30m over seven years. The €1.5m raised so far will be used to validate the concept and master the hull’s hydrodynamics.
Founder Loïc Pochet, a former ocean racing athlete with 23 Atlantic crossings and two round-the-world trips to his credit, is a pilot and seaplane flight instructor. Pochet intends to first build the Morgann with a traditional combustion engine, before producing a second version that runs on liquid hydrogen.
“Since 2016, the project, which has matured, is of sufficient interest to investors. The new capital will enable us to manufacture, by the end of next year, the 1:3 scale flight and navigation model of our seaplane,” said Pochet.
Designed with foils to elevate the aircraft to 40m above the water’s surface, retractable wings, twin-boom rear and tanks in the hull, Morgann (which means born of the sea in Breton) will have a range of 1,000km and will carry four passengers and 60kg of luggage onboard.
“The entire fleet of seaplanes is on average 40 years old, so they are expensive devices to operate
and maintain. For my project, I transformed my travel and observation diary into a specification with a series of requirements,” said Pochet.
A new fundraising round, on the look out of for €8m which will open up the capital raise to 20%, will then be considered to finish development of Morgann. This will be for manufacturing the zero prototype for structural tests, flight tests and certification. Production is scheduled for 2027.
Buyers of the seaplane will be able to acquire it for around €1.5m. Pochet have confirmed that a firm order has just been placed.