The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Aura Aero Secures Part 21G Manufacturing Approval

French aviation authorities have issued Part 21G approval to start-up Aura Aero, marking the first step toward production of its Integral family of light aircraft. The authorization clears the way for the company to advance its longer-term goal to develop the 19-seat Electrical Regional Aircraft.

The Part 21G approval certifies that parts produced by Aura Aero comply with their design specifications. The company is now seeking clearance to build complete aircraft, with production initially focused on the piston-powered Integral R two-seater, tail-dragger design, which has been ordered by two French flying clubs.

According to the Toulouse-based company, it will soon start production of the Integral S model, which is also piston-powered and with a tricycle landing gear. The company intends to make a first flight with the electric-powered Integral E model in 2022.

Earlier this year, Aura Aero opened a 38,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in a former French air force hangar. It says that it already holds orders for 50 examples of the Integral E, mainly from flight-training organizations and aerobatic clubs.

The company has not yet finalized the projected performance for the ERA model but believes that the market likely needs an aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of around 8.5 metric tons (18,700 pounds) and a range of up to around 900 miles. It plans to use a hybrid-electric propulsion system for the airliner since current battery technology would limit its range to no more than 250 miles and this would be further limited by the need to have 45 minutes of power reserves for safety margins.

Aura Aero says it will have a prototype ready to start test flights in 2024. Early concept drawings show an aircraft with six sets of propellers on the wing.