Pioneering the next era of aerospace through seven years of extensive research, testing, and development.


Dave Merrill and Clint Cope found Elroy Air in San Francisco, CA.


In November 2017, we marked our first full year of operations. In the first 12 months, we formed a small expert team of aerospace and drone engineers who designed, built and operated our earliest softwre builds and electric propulsion testing in a hardware incubator space in San Francisco, taking input from our pioneering customers in commercial, humanitarian, and defense shipping.


In 2018, we were invited participants at multiple Joint Interagency Field Experimentation (JIFX) events at Camp Roberts, CA where we flight-tested sub-scale Chaparral aircraft and user-tested our automated cargo‑handling systems. Our development of a NASA-inspired propulsion test stand enabled full characterization of electric powertrain elements — motors, rotors, and motor controllers — running testing activities at the Half‑Moon Bay airport.


In 2019, we started working with the US Air Force under a Phase 2 contract, enabling Elroy Air to understand and inform the USAF’s operational needs for distributed aerial logistics in contested environments. We developed our custom simulation environment for Chaparral aircraft and ran a successful flight test campaign on an early 1200‑pound, full-scale Chaparral prototype outfitted with an all-electric powertrain.


Further build-out of our simulation environment enabled the team to run thousands of virtual flights and ground/cargo mission experiments took place in 2020. Development of our hybrid-electric powertrain began, with a series of turboshaft engine runs in the small yard outside our headquarters in the industrial Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. We joined the US Air Force Agility Prime program and started a Phase 3 contract.


A $40M Series A financing in 2021 made Marlinspike, Lockheed Martin, and Prosperity7 part of the Elroy Air team and powered full fuel-to-electric runs of Chaparral’s hybrid-electric powertrain. We received the first C1 airframe from our composite production partner, and began integration of the C1-1 vehicle.


An additional $36M in financing from Shield Capital, Marlinspike, Snowpoint, and others powered our unveiling of the C1-1 Chaparral vehicle to the public, followed soon after by our appearance as the cover story of Aviation Week. We announced commercial partnerships with FedEx and Bristow, we were awarded a new contract by the USAF, we ran our iron bird powertrain test system to full mission levels of power, and we finished integration of the C1-1.


Elroy Air soared to new heights in 2023 with the first flight of the Chaparral C1, making history by flying the world’s first turbogenerator-hybrid VTOL aircraft. Beyond this momentous achievement, we secured deposits for vehicle sales with LCI and Bristow, started a new Phase 2 contract with the US Air Force and were awarded a Phase I contract with the US Army.