Company attracts top industry executives as it reaches $3B in commitments for its autonomous eVTOL cargo aircraft systems
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Elroy Air, the company developing the first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system, has announced that it has expanded its executive leadership to include Alex Blake as Chief of Staff and Zach Lovering as Vice President of Engineering.
Alex Blake, uncrewed aerospace executive from Wing (formerly Google X), Amazon Prime Air, and Kittyhawk joins Elroy Air as Chief of Staff
“Alex’s many years of experience in moving new aerospace concepts from idea to proof-of-concept to operational reality brings an incredible set of strengths to our organization. We are extremely excited to have Alex join our leadership team!” said co-founder Clint Cope.
Most recently, Blake served as VP of Engineering at Kittyhawk where she played a central role in driving the development of a groundbreaking electric autonomous air taxi, backed by Google/Alphabet founder Larry Page. She was a member of the team at Google X that developed drone delivery and UTM systems, eventually splitting off as Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet with operations on 3 continents. At Wing, Alex led aerodynamics, propulsion, reliability, and flight test, aiding in the 1st FAA operational approval for a commercial drone service in the US. She also served as a launch lead for Amazon Prime Air’s next generation drone delivery system, quality manager for Google’s high altitude solar drone Titan, manufacturing engineer for Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space flight vehicle, and materials development engineer at Raytheon.
“Elroy Air’s vision for the future of logistics is truly inspiring. Over the last decade, the drone industry has undergone a remarkable transformation, and we are witnessing the immense potential of this technology come to life,” said Blake. “I believe Elroy Air is at the forefront of a critical segment of the market. The Chaparral has broad applications for middle-mile logistics in the commercial space, defense resupply, and humanitarian aid. I’m honored to be part of the team delivering on this vision and look forward to what’s ahead.”
Blake is working with Elroy Air’s founders to shape how the company will mature and scale, including where to focus energy and resources as it builds its middle mile aerial delivery system’s products and services.
Industry leader and eVTOL technical expert Zach Lovering joins as VP of Engineering
“We recently welcomed Zach Lovering as VP Engineering. Zach led the team at A³ by Airbus as they built and flew the Vahana eVTOL aircraft all the way through transition over more than 138 flights — a pioneering program in our industry which is highly-relevant experience for the trajectory ahead for Elroy Air,” said co-founder and CEO David Merrill.
As Vice President for Urban Mobility Systems at Airbus, Zach oversaw Urban Mobility operations in the US and was responsible for the end-to-end system integration of next generation aircraft into our airspace and cities. He led the company’s flagship eVTOL demonstrator program, Vahana, originally as its founding Chief Engineer then as Project Executive at Airbus’s Silicon Valley innovation center, A³ by Airbus. Zach also led rotor blade programs at Helicopter Technology Company, and worked on the structures, propulsion, and aero-performance teams at Zee.Aero (now Wisk).
“Even before joining Elroy Air, I was impressed by their approach to tackling logistics challenges,” said Lovering. “By combining the benefits of high-power batteries with energy-efficient turbogenerators, Elroy Air is uniquely able to address real-world applications that balance range, speed, and payload capability for a wide variety of global customers. I am excited to merge my decade-long experience in eVTOL system design with that of the highly capable Elroy Air team to accelerate development and productization.”
In his role, Lovering is focused on growing the Engineering function at Elroy Air with a focus on its Powertrain, Autonomy, Integration, and Flight Testing teams. The expansion of these critical groups will accelerate the company on its path to producing early vehicles and showcasing the Chaparral’s value proposition to customers.
About the Chaparral
The Chaparral is a transitioning “lift + cruise” eVTOL aircraft with a carbon composite airframe and a turbine-based hybrid-electric powertrain for long-range mission capabilities. It was designed to fit in a 40’ shipping container or C-130 cargo aircraft, enabling it to be quickly shipped and deployed for missions anywhere in the world.
Elroy Air has additionally developed lightweight, aerodynamic modular cargo pods that can be pre-loaded by ground personnel and picked up robotically by the aircraft before takeoff. At the delivery location, the cargo pod is lowered to the ground and released after the system has landed. The Chaparral vehicle can retrieve another pre-packed pod for transport to its next destination, creating a bi-directional conveyor belt through the sky.
About Elroy Air
Elroy Air is developing industry-first autonomous aircraft systems and software to expand the reach of express shipping to every person on the planet. Building on the powertrain and perception technology enabling the hybrid-electric / autonomous vehicle revolution, its vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aerial logistics systems can operate outside of airport infrastructure and evolve the possible in commercial air cargo. The company’s solutions will expand delivery locations and reduce timeframes, provide immediate aid and relief in disaster and fire fighting situations, as well as rapid autonomous resupply for troops in the field. The company’s headquarters is in South San Francisco, California and it is financed by world-class venture capital firms including Catapult Ventures, Marlinspike Capital, Snowpoint Ventures and Shield Capital, strategic investors including Lockheed Martin Ventures and Prosperity7, and pioneering angel investors including early Uber executives.
For more information, visit http://elroyair.com.