High flying e-Go aeroplanes soars close to £1m
Cambridge aviation technology pioneer e-Go aeroplanes is on cloud nine after raising almost £1 million – far higher than the original target set by the UK’s first ever manufacturer of lightweight carbon fibre aeroplanes.
Having set a target of between £650k to £800k for a second round of funding the company has surpassed this and raised in excess of £950k. It follows the e-Go prototype’s first successful flight last October.
All existing investors are contributing again to support the company’s development and expansion. A number of new supporters have invested, both directly and through the crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom. The high-profile government-backed Angel CoFund is also making a significant investment.
Twenty investors backed e-Go aeroplane’s launch in 2011, among them UK aerospace leader Marshall of Cambridge. Now a further 60 investors have joined the group, including a number of business angels, the company’s chief test pilot and first British born astronaut, Michael Foale.
Flight trials and ground testing of the e-Go prototype continues and first customer deliveries are planned for quarter one 2015 - at a sales cost of around £50,000 + VAT.
The basis of the e-Go design philosophy is the packaging of leading-edge aeronautical engineering with proven technology, taking successful elements from non-aviation industries.
For example, the design’s airframe benefits from techniques used in Formula One race cars, while the avionics, datalogging and engine management are inspired by the technology used in today’s road cars.
“The e-Go ethos is to do a lot with a little and that will remain our guiding principle,” said Malcolm Bird, e-Go’s executive chairman.
“The UK is unique in offering such a supportive deregulated environment for aircraft of this type; so new investors can look forward to an exciting time in helping bring to market a design that is innovative, striking in appearance, fun to fly and will cut dramatically the cost of personal flying.”
Tim Mills, investment director at the Angel CoFund, added: “e-Go is exactly the type of exciting, innovative British business we look to invest in. Its prototype flight last year was the first to be undertaken by a new UK aircraft manufacturer in years. The team have an exciting proposition and we look forward to supporting them.”