Surf Air (URF, Santa Monica) parent Surf Air Mobility Corporation, a US-based and membership-based air travel booking platform, is no longer willing to acquire hybrid-electric aviation technology start-up Ampaire, leaving it to likely resort to a Series B funding round.

Ampaire confirmed in a press release that it had “decided to move forward as an independent company,” and on May 3, a Surf Air representative to ch-aviation: “We can confirm that Surf Air Mobility will not be acquiring Ampaire. We will be releasing news on our future electrification strategy soon.”

Surf Air Mobility revealed in February 2021 that it was acquiring Ampaire, as the latter Los Angeles-based aviation pioneer continued to focus on bringing hybrid-electric versions of the Cessna (twin piston) 337 utility aircraft to market.

Surf Air has not commented on Ampaire’s reference to the deal being off and did not immediately respond to ch-aviation’s request for comment.

In April, Ampaire began ground testing the propulsion system for its first Cessna Grand Caravan flight test aircraft, which it has branded the Eco Caravan and which builds on the technology of its earlier Electric EEL aircraft.

In its April 22 press release, it pointed to high fuel prices and concerns over the environmental impact of aviation to stress how the upgraded Eco Caravan offered fuel savings over the original Cessna Aircraft Company aircraft of “up to 70% on short-hop routes and over 50% on long-haul flights, while still carrying nine passengers or cargo” and an emissions reduction of up to 90% if using sustainable aviation fuel. It is also capable of operating from airports without electric charging infrastructure, it added.

“Ampaire has decided to move forward as an independent company on its mission to reduce aviation emissions. Ampaire will proceed with development of the Eco Caravan and the application for a supplemental type certificate (STC) for its hybrid propulsion system, and will continue to work closely with operators globally to maximise benefits for their fleets,” it said, adding that it believed the Grand Caravan conversion could be approved under a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) STC by 2024.

Editorial Comment: Added Surf Air Mobility comment. - 04.05.2022 - 06:02 UTC