Surf Air Mobility has signed a purchase agreement with Textron Aviation for up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprops. The initial order covers 100 aircraft with an option for an additional 50, all subject to Surf Air Mobility obtaining financing. The deal is part of a larger collaboration between the two companies aimed at developing a hybrid electric version of the Grand Caravan.
“Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel,” said Textron Aviation CEO Ron Draper. “This relationship with Surf Air Mobility leverages the unique performance capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan in both passenger and cargo operations and continues to demonstrate the aircraft’s adaptability for innovative missions and configurations.”
Delivery of Surf Air’s Grand Caravans are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022. As previously reported by AVweb, Surf Air Mobility recently entered into an agreement to acquire electric aircraft company Ampaire, which developed the hybrid electric Electric EEL Cessna 337 Skymaster conversion. Surf Air Mobility was formed when air charter broker Surf Air acquired online aviation marketplace app BlackBird last year.
The Caravan is my favorite fantasy airplane. Put it on amphib floats and fit it out like a Westfalia style camper I’d love it. Leave the electrons in the golf cart.
On floats is common in the hinterlands, Alaska and much of Canada, perhaps ID/MT.
That illustration does not have the baggage pod that some airline operations would want, may not be needed if just business commuting pax.