Deseret UAS has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company, ElectraFly. This Utah-based company is developing a personal flying vehicle that has the potential to revolutionize the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. Under the agreement, ElectraFly will begin flight testing on Deseret UAS ranges early next year. This watershed moment showcases the strong collaboration between Utah’s state and local governments and its private sector UAS companies.
“As the premier organization in Utah dedicated to UAS, Deseret UAS provides unparalleled access to wide-open land and airspace for companies to test their technologies. We are located close to Utah’s urbanized Wasatch Front and just thirty minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport,” said Deseret UAS Board Chair and Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne. “We are delighted that companies like ElectraFly can take advantage of Deseret UAS’ unique assets.”
Founded in 2017, ElectraFly is an aviation company building a hybrid-electric personal flying vehicle. It aims to increase lift capacity and flight times for multirotor aircraft (i.e.- aircraft that can take-off and land vertically) of virtually any size. Its innovations aim to enable multirotors to carry a meaningful load, including personal transportation, supplies, and package delivery. Early personal flight vehicles are operated by a pilot who possesses extensive training and expertise. They are limited in how far they can fly and how heavy their payloads can be. Inefficiencies exist in design, energy use, and battery size. ElectraFly hopes to change that with a prototype that is positioned between technologies like a personal jetpack and a large, helicopter-like air taxi.
“ElectraFly seeks to revolutionize the industry by offering a unique, scalable solution to these problems,” said John Manning, company founder and director of development. “We have developed multirotor capabilities that have the benefits of a fixed wing aircraft, so they can carry more weight over longer distances. We are excited about the partnership with Deseret UAS because we will have access to the best flight-testing opportunities with invaluable expertise and support from leaders in the field.”
The company has an international patent-pending application on numerous innovations. The ElectraFly prototype is being built to carry a rider—something ideal for first responders or military special forces. Other versions will be scaled for air taxi or search and rescue, and smaller versions will be ideal for shipping and package delivery.
“Commercial UAS/UAM companies need Flight Test Ranges to apply their technologies and prove operational performance,” explained Deseret UAS Executive Director Dr. Tulinda Larsen. “The ElectraFly MOU is an example of how Deseret UAS is a game-changer for the industry because we provide Flight Test Ranges designed for safe commercial testing with the necessary FAA authorizations.”