Aura Aero partners with Thales for its future electric regional aircraft

Aura Aero is surrounded by big names in aeronautics to fly its future electric regional aircraft. After announcing in the spring of 2022 a collaboration with Safran on the architecture and operation of its future aircraft, the Toulouse manufacturer will release this Thursday, February 2, an agreement with Thales to imagine an avionics suite specifically adapted to ERA (Electric regional aircraft ) project, “including a specific cockpit solution, a secure ground-to-board connectivity solution and a digital platform”.

Aura Aero is working on a 19-seat electric-powered regional transport plane. This device, which aims for up to 400 km of autonomy in 100% electric, should achieve the first flight in late 2024 for entry into service scheduled for 2027.

“We are very happy to be able to do this collaboration with Thales because the development of carbon-free aviation is not limited to propulsion systems. It also requires many other innovations including specific aspects of avionics. This goal is a first step and I have no doubt that these changes will find other applications”, commented Jérémy Caussade, co-founder and president of Aura Aero.

Thales imagines the cockpit of the future

In recent years, Thales has developed a full range of connected avionics solutions for aircraft. The most emblematic is the FlytX solution, which aims to establish itself as the cockpit of the future and has been chosen by Airbus Helicopters and the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to equip the Cheetah, the military version of the H160 helicopter .

With this avionics suite, the group has a 30 to 40% target reduction in terms of volume, weight and power consumption compared to traditional systems. Significant achievements are enabled by a high level of integration through a modular architecture. Thus, aeronautical manufacturers can customize all the functions and the visual dressing without having to re-certify the avionics but will also have the possibility to connect to other external applications through a tablet.

“The FlytX cockpit system is the perfect solution to support the revolution in uses offered by Aura Aero”, said Jean-Paul Ebanga, director of flight avionics activities at Thales. Beyond the technological breakthrough, connected avionics should also contribute to reducing the environmental footprint by improving interoperability between different Airbus aircraft and optimizing route trajectories.

Thales: its future flight management system on board the Airbus A320, A330 and A350

More than 200 pre-orders for his electric plane

Together with Thales, Aura Aero gets strong support to continue to grow its electric aircraft project. The young company founded in 2018 was orphaned in April 2022 due to the failure of the Integral R, its two-seater aerobatic aircraft in the certification process. However, even though its 19-seater plane has yet to make its first flight, the startup continues to benefit from a significant surge of interest from airlines. Last October, Aura Aero announced the signing of more than 130 purchase intentions from nine airlines for ERA after a record first mega pre-order of 200 aircraft from the Amedeo leasing company.

Aura Aero won 130 more pre-orders for its electric plane

MAYcurrently installed in a 3,500 m2 hangar near the former military base of Francazal, where its first production line is located, the start-up finds itself crowded as its workforce exceeds 120 employees, to which must be added approximately sixty related collaborators (in particular freelancers). It wants to create an Aura Campus, new area in an area with several tens of thousands of m2 for the assembly of future electric regional aircraft.

In line with the ERA design, Aura Aero continues to work on the certification of its Integrale R aerobatic aircraft. The company still has the ambition to complete fundraising of around 50 million euros to accelerate its development. .