Danish-based critical logistics company Danx Carousel Group has signed a strategic partnership with Electron Aerospace to develop an electric, pilotless cargo aircraft.
The Electron 5 has been designed to transport 0.5 tonnes (1,100lbs) of cargo 500km (310 miles) on a single battery charge and at a speed of up to 300km per hour (186mph). With its requirement for relatively short runways, it will also have access to five times more European airports compared to larger freight aircraft, bypassing congested main hubs
The plane is due to go into operation in 2027 and Carousel aims to add them to its fleet within the next five years.
Danx Carousel’s group chief solutions officer, Lars Ryssel, said: “Sustainability is, of course, the driving force behind our investment in Electron, but the inclusion of the Electron 5 aircraft in our operations will also bring about impressive operational improvements.
“The ability to launch and land closer to our pick-up and delivery points will cut down on journey lengths, allowing us to offer customers later cut-off times and better serve hard-to-reach areas. Moving away from the traditional hub-and-spoke distribution of air cargo to a point-to-point model means we can avoid congestion at busy airports.
“Based on our analysis, we believe that small planes are set to outperform conventional aircraft fuelled by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and hybrid aircraft in cost per kilogram, transit time, and carbon emissions.”
Electron Aerospace co-founder Marc-Henry de Jong, added: “The Electron 5 is well equipped to transport a wide range of cargo, including loose goods like e-commerce parcels and odd-size goods on EU pallets.
Danx Carousel specialists were involved in the freighter design of the Electron 5 model, advising on how to best adapt the aircraft to transport freight.