Rex Airlines has announced a 20 per cent stake in Dovetail Electric Aviation, and will take a seat on the startup’s board of directors.
Dovetail is a Bankstown-based startup focussed on retrofitting electric propulsion systems to turboprop nine-19-seat commuter planes, which it sees as a $US 15 billion opportunity.
In a short statement on Friday, Rex said, “The equity participation agreement formalises the strategic partnership between Rex and Dovetail and builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies which was unveiled on 21 July, 2022.”
Dovetail was co-founded by former Quickstep CTO and founder of Dante Aeronautical David Doral, Sydney Aviation Holdings CEO, Aaron Shaw, and Rachael Barritt, previously of MagniX.
The company was awarded a $3 million Cooperative Research Centres Projects grant in January, followed by the announcement in February of successfully completed initial ground tests for a small-scale electric propulsion system (EPS.)
Short regional flights are likely to be among the first commercial adopters of electric-powered aircraft, which currently have a much shorter range than conventionally-powered aircraft.
“Australia, with its very high utilisation of regional aviation and large number of aircraft capable of conversion, is a perfect incubator for the electric aviation industry,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp told The Australian Financial Review last year.