Aura Aero freezes design on 19-seat hybrid-electric aircraft


Aura Aero's previous all-electric iteration of the ERA 19-seat regional aircraft. (credit: Aura Aero)

Aura Aero has frozen the design of its 19-seat hybrid-electric regional aircraft and will reveal a full-scale cabin mockup at the Paris Air Show in June.

The French OEM has frozen ERA’s (Electric Regional Aircraft) design because the technology and customer requirements are in place to begin work on the programme, it said. Aura have a first flight scheduled for 2026 with entry into service predicted for 2028, according to CEO Jeremy Caussade. The firm is also working on bringing it factory online at Toulouse Francazal Airport also planned open in 2026.

The newly redesigned aircraft features eight electric motors, up from the previous iteration’s six. The ERA, with its short takeoff and landing capability, will be available for commercial passenger operations, cargo, business aviation and special missions. It will have a maximum payload range of 200nm and a maximum range of 800nm. The two turbogenerators will also run on unblended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) if available.

Motor supplier Safran Electrical and Power has received a design organisation approval (DOA) from EASA. The DOA makes it the third commercial propulsion company inside Safran, alongside Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Helicopter Engines.

Aura is also developing a fly-by-wire control system for ERA, that will pave the way for increased autonomy in flight, said the firm. Thales is to provide a “single-pilot ready” avionics suite that will be integrated into Aura’s system, allowing the aircraft to be flown by one flight crew member instead of two when regulations permit. Thales’ flight management system will also be integrated with Aura’s power management system, enabling the crew to navigate in the most energy-efficient way. By the end of last year, Aura had announced letters of intent (LoIs) for more than 330 ERA.