Helicopter operator Bristow has launched a collaboration with Overair, marking its fourth such deal with an aircraft manufacturer in the advanced air mobility sector. Under an MoU signed yesterday, the Houston-based transportation group said it has “preordered” between 20 and 50 of Overair’s Butterfly, a five-passenger eVTOL with 100-mile range that is expected to be FAA certified in 2025.
Bristow will provide the California-based startup with guidance on matters including vehicle design considerations, key performance parameters, flight planning best practices, flight operations data sharing, and health monitoring strategies, configuration and maintenance protocols, infrastructure, and ground support operations. It will also contribute to promoting the launch of eVTOL commercial operations.
This deal appears similar to other recent agreements that Bristow has reached with Embraer’s Eve Urban Air Mobility, Vertical Aerospace, and Electra Aero. All of these also involved collaborative work and provisional commitments to add up to 250 of these companies' eVTOL and eSTOL aircraft to Bristow’s fleet. However, the exact commercial terms of these sales agreements remain unclear.
Overair said that “of the vehicles Bristow is currently considering, Butterfly is the only aircraft with a vectored-thrust configuration.” Given its range and 200 mph speed, the Butterfly might be suitable for some of Bristow’s offshore support services, carrying oil and gas workers to platforms in locations such as the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea.