Our mission at Elroy Air is to enable same-day shipping to every person on the planet.

We are developing autonomous cargo aircraft systems to massively expand the reach of express shipping, provide humanitarian aid in regions with challenging infrastructure, immediate relief in disaster situations, and enable rapid autonomous aerial resupply to troops in the field.

About the Chaparral

The Chaparral is a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aerial cargo platform. The first version of the Chaparral will carry 300–500lbs of cargo over a 300-mile range with its hybrid-electric powertrain and simple, redundant lift and forward-flight motors.

The Chaparral is the flying part of an integrated, high-throughput autonomous aerial logistics system. The vehicle can land, deposit cargo, pick up another load, and take-off again, all in just a few minutes and without operator interaction. The Chaparral is designed to carry cargo in lightweight, aerodynamic pods which are pre-loaded by ground personnel, and picked up autonomously by the aircraft before takeoff. The result is a conveyor belt through the sky for high-throughput express shipping.

The Chaparral has been designed by the Elroy Air team in San Francisco, CA, for autonomous flight and ground operations. It can be remotely-piloted to comply with civil aviation authorities and airspace integration policy.

The new Elroy Air Chaparral aircraft design presented at an angle next to its cargo pod.

Pre-Production Chaparral Aircraft

In January 2022, we unveiled the design of our pre-production Chaparral C1 vehicle, our autonomous VTOL aerial cargo platform. Clicking or tapping on the image above will reveal a gallery with more images and video of Chaparral C1 and our new cargo pod design.

Autonomous Aerial Delivery

Watch this overview video to get up to speed on why we’re building Chaparral, and what it can do.

Picture of the Chaparral cargo pod being loaded by autonomous robots pre-flight.


Logistics is the lifeblood of civilization. Flows of consumer goods, medical supplies, and machine parts are all critical to modern life and industry — we believe that access to them should be immediate. Rapid logistics raises the quality of life and productivity for the people and communities that it serves.

The Chaparral creates a “fast-lane” for middle-mile logistics to an unprecedented range of locations. Aerial transport of priority shipments is now possible without airports. The Chaparral can deliver directly to loading docks at a speed 5× faster than trucks.

Chaparral has partnered with the US Air Force (USAF) through their Agility Prime program as well as partnered with the US Navy (USN) for research and development.


The Elroy Air Chaparral has a robust set of applications in national defense, including on-demand resupply to expeditionary teams, establishing initial logistics footprints in contested areas, ISR, communications relay, forward-placement of fuel, generators, and medevac / casevac / Dustoff operations. Elroy Air has partnered with the USAF (Phase 3 SBIR, Agility Prime) and has a CRADA with the Naval Postgraduate School to better understand and serve the needs of the people in our armed services.

Example image of traditional humanitarian work that can be taken on by Chaparral.

Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief

The Chaparral enables safe, efficient aerial cargo transport for disaster relief, firefighting, and humanitarian operations—all at a cost lower than traditional rotorcraft or fixed-wing aircraft, at no risk to pilots—and without a reliance on airport infrastructure. With over 1 billion people living outside the range of reliable roadways, we need new solutions to deliver critical supplies to where they're needed. The Chaparral can deliver those supplies without traditional infrastructure.


Logo for the Green GOOD DESIGN awards for 2021.

Green GOOD DESIGN 2021

Logo for the IDEA 2020 awards from IDSA indicating Chaparral won gold.

IDEA 2020 Gold Transportation

Meet Elroy Air

The Elroy Air team is a dedicated, diverse group of experts in autonomous systems and software architectures, aerospace engineering, robotics, design, shipping logistics, supply chain and manufacturing. We believe that great ideas can come from everyone on the team, and one of our core values is that we are tough on ideas, kind to people.

The team photo of Elroy Air.

Our partners

To accelerate our path to market, we have forged partnerships with some of the top aerospace, aviation, and logistics organizations in the world.

“Moving to unmanned, aerial cargo vehicles will make a huge difference to our cost structure and the risk profile of our operations. We fly in difficult terrain and difficult conditions. We don’t always have the luxury of a runway or even personnel at some locations. There simply hasn’t been a UAV with the type of capabilities that the Chaparral has in the commercial markets. The Chaparral is a quantum leap in terms of load carrying and range as well as being able to operate with minimal infrastructure.”
Stephen Lyons
Chief Development Officer
AYR Logistics
“One of the reasons why this is a moment to deploy the Chaparral system is that the market really requires it. We’re not even creating a market. We are answering a demand that exists in the market today that is currently unanswered. We are increasingly seeing the demand for same and next-day delivery, but so many rural communities have been cut off from the national transportation system. With the Chaparral, we’re excited to be able to provide autonomous cargo delivery to help reconnect those communities.”
Jonathan Ornstein
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Mesa Airlines
“Lockheed Martin is committed to identifying and investing in leading edge technologies that will contribute to the national security solutions of the future. Unmanned aerial systems and VTOL aircraft are key emerging technologies in this effort, and we are excited to partner with Elroy Air to accelerate their innovative approach to automating aerial logistics.”
Chris Moran
Executive Director and General Manager
Lockheed Martin Ventures
“We are thrilled to be working with Elroy Air to help validate the Chaparral platform value and capability to the US Air Force. The Air Force supports a wide range of military and humanitarian missions, and our objectives can often be difficult or dangerous to accomplish with manned aircraft. We have a mandate to field an initial operational capability by 2023 of the next generation of unmanned VTOL aerial systems. Elroy Air typifies the kind of innovative company Agility Prime is partnering with, and they are already well down the path in developing a system that we believe can meet both commercial and government needs. With this partnership we look forward to working with the Elroy Air team to evaluate Chaparral for Air Force use cases, while the Elroy Air team keeps focused on developing a dual-use system — it’s a win-win-win situation for the company, the Air Force, and the nation.”
USAF Major John “Wasp” Tekell
Deputy Lead
Agility Prime
“The Elroy Air team impressed us with their innovative approach to automated cargo systems and technical depth in hybrid-electric VTOL vehicle development. Their track record designing, developing, and safely testing the Chaparral and its subsystems made them a great teaming partner. The work with Elroy Air will help accelerate the realization of exciting new Advanced Air Mobility logistics missions.”
Starr Ginn
National Campaign Lead
Advanced Air Mobility
“In order to stay the course of creating solutions that benefit humanity at large, we believe the cargo market is prime for an autonomous aircraft. Booming eCommerce is forcing the cargo market to grow and seek new solutions, creating a distinct need for more flexibility. Our holistic approach to accelerating this market will include working with Elroy Air and its Chaparral system, capable of delivering cargo over long distances, as well as our work in associated services and air traffic management solutions.”
Daniel Moczydlower
President & CEO
“The idea behind this is that government expertise and industry know-how combine to create a new product or capability, or a commercial capability is made easier for government to apply to its needs. [Elroy Air] is a Silicon Valley company that is developing an autonomous logistics capability that could potentially enable a platoon of Marines or a Special Operations Team to operate very far forward, all without the risk of manned aircraft trying to resupply them in dangerous environments.”
Dr. Ray Buettner
Associate Professor of Information Sciences
Naval Postgraduate School


Get in touch with us

If you have an idea about a partnership, an interesting technology that could be useful to our mission, or you just want to say hello, drop us a note. We read every message, though we cannot reply individually to all.

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