A startup formed by two German aviation companies has revealed plans to develop a 10-seat electric aircraft for short-haul regional flying.

Scylax has been formed by solar-powered light aircraft developer Elektra Solar and aerospace engineering services company EADCO.

FLN Frisia Luftverkehr, a small German airline that operates services to the East Frisian islands with a fleet of 14 Britten Norman Islanders and Cessna 172/182s, has joined Scylax as a shareholder.

The Munich-based startup is developing the E10, a battery-powered, high-wing, fixed-gear aircraft with twin electric motors. The aircraft will have a range of 300 km (185 mi.) on existing battery technology, increasing to more than 600 km within eight years, the company said.

Scylax plan to fly a demonstrator in three years that can be used by Frisia for island freight services and plans to complete European CS23 certification within eight years. “We are now in the funding phase,” Elektra Solar CEO Calin Gologan said.

“We are looking for €7 million [$7.7 million] for the demonstrator phase. We expect 50% of the funding to come through German and European Union research programs,” Gologan said. “We have finalized the preliminary design and can now start to manufacture the molds.”

Formerly PC-Aero and Elekta-UAS, Elektra Solar is a spinoff from Germany’s DLR aerospace research agency that manufactures solar-powered high-altitude aircraft. The Elektra One is a single-seat aircraft that can fly optionally piloted or fully unmanned. The Elektra two is a two-seater.

EADCO is an engineering consultancy engaged in research and development, from the conceptual and feasibility phases to development and certification support. Customers include Airbus, ArianeGroup, Grob Aerospace, Premium Aerotec, RUAG and SABCA.

“We are sure that we have the technology now to fly clean small passenger aircraft. At first for short distances up to 300 km. Double that in eight years. This is the bridge to future large aircraft with 100 seats or more,” Gologan said.

“For these larger aircraft we will need to wait, perhaps more than 20 years. We need to start now making this bridge, to demonstrate the technology in operation,” he said. “If we wait for a better battery technology, we will lose time.”

Graham Warwick graham.warwick@aviationweek.com