On the occasion of the 2023 edition of the EAA Airventure show in Oshkosh, which is currently being held from July 24 to 30, Elixir Aircraft makes a progress report. For the French aircraft manufacturer, the best is yet to come, with the construction of its new factory in La Rochelle and most certainly the acquisition of a final assembly and maintenance hall in the United States.
Elixir Aircraft continues to grow…
Since EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2022, Elixir Aircraft has garnered orders in the global training aircraft market. With orders taking off, investments flowed in and hiring followed one another. The average age of the standard fleet of single-engine piston aircraft is aging and not getting better at 49 years old. And for three scrapped aircraft, only one new tail number is recorded. Either an insufficient quantity of planes to train the pilots.
…With its CS-23 certified single engine
This is where the industrialist and aircraft manufacturer from La Rochelle has a playing card, or rather a winning game, with its CS-23 amendment 5 certified device, the equivalent of FAR 23 amendment 64, both of which set safety objectives. “In the event of a stall on the last turn, the aircraft falls flat, which means that it retains the effectiveness of its ailerons, so the aircraft is still flyable. By falling flat in this way, the pilot greatly improves his chances of survival. This is a great innovation, which clearly improves the safety of student pilots and their instructors, and reduces serious accidents”, comments Arthur Léopold-Léger, co-founder and president of Elixir. The device was certified CS-23 in April 2020.
More than 100 devices in pre-order
“Elixir has experienced monumental growth since the last edition of the EAA Airventure last year,” comments Cyril Champenois, co-founder of Elixir. “On the sales side, dozens of flying clubs, flight schools and private pilots have joined the Elixir family. They include the Airbus Flight Academy, Mermoz and other training organizations in countries like Luxembourg, Italy and New Zealand. In America, Sierra Charlie Aviation has ordered over 100 Elixir Full Glass Cockpit 100HP aircraft. Cirrus Aviation, based in Florida, has also increased its order to 10 aircraft. These orders are in addition to other pre-orders received from other Americans. In addition, we hope to soon receive FAA Part 23 certification so that we can start delivering these aircraft to our American customers,” adds Cyril Champenois.
A final assembly and maintenance unit in the United States
Elixir’s growth has been spurred by multiple investments. The most recent is a €13 million grant as part of a total funding of €40 million. These funds are dedicated to the industrialization of the company. “Elixir is focused on production with the goal of producing more than 300 aircraft per year. This will be possible thanks to the upcoming construction of a factory in La Rochelle, France”, comments Arthur Léopold-Léger, co-founder and president of Elixir. The plant is expected to employ more than 1,000 people by 2033. In the United States, Elixir aims to operate a final assembly and maintenance facility at Sarasota Bradenton Airport (SRQ). The first hangar will be occupied in 2024, then the new neighboring hangar will be added the following year. We must hire hundreds of Americans for this installation over the months and years to come,” adds Arthur Léopold-Léger.