UK-based Samad Aerospace is strengthening its team as it steps up efforts to bring its hybrid-electric eStarling aircraft to market. This week, the company announced six appointments in the engineering and commercial departments.
Boosting efforts to advance engineering work for the program are heads of airframe, avionics, and advanced technologies. These new roles, reporting to chief technical officer Graeme Codner, have been filled, respectively, by Richard Abbott, Steve Wright, and Glenn Waters. Marwan Maurizio Chedid has been appointed as certification manager.
Meanwhile, Samad’s commercial department now includes Fabrizio Poli as head of sales and marketing. The aircraft sales executive and aviation consultant is joined by sales and marketing executive Shayan Amin, who holds a business degree from Tehran’s Islamic Azad University and is now studying at the University of Buckingham in the UK.
The company has also just moved into a larger headquarters building at the Cranfield Technology Park in England. “Samad Aerospace continues to grow and expand as we develop our fleet of eco-friendly aircraft that will revolutionize the way that humans and goods fly around the world,” commented founder and CEO Seyed Mohseni.
Samad is working on both eVTOL and eSTOL versions of the Starling, and recently completed hover tests with a subscale prototype of the former design. It says that it holds letters of intent to purchase 119 eStarlings, with each prospective customer placing a $300,000 deposit, amounting to 5 percent of the $6 million total price.
This week, the company confirmed plans to develop an autonomous cargo version of the Starling. Via an online survey, it is asking prospective operators what features and performance they might look for in the aircraft, which is expected to have a payload of 220 pounds and a range of around 150 miles.
According to Samad, the unmanned Starling Cargo model is already undergoing flight testing and is set to complete type certification by 2023. This seems likely to be a year or two ahead of the five-passenger version, and the company also intends to offer a “combi” version that could serve both roles.