ABOVE: Elfly initially intends to operate 15 Noemi aircraft on its own AOC and develop infrastructure in its native Norway.

Norway’s Elfly Group has secured more than USD$8 million of funding from the Norwegian government to ‘forge ahead’ with the production of a full-scale prototype of its all-electric commercial seaplane.

Elfly’s amphibious Noemi (No-Emissions) aircraft was first unveiled in June 2023, supporting the Norwegian government’s goal of making domestic flying emission-free by 2040. Backed by Norway’s Innovation Research Foundation (SINTEF), the flying boat will allow the aircraft to take off ‘using little power’ and is described as being ‘designed for flexible regional mobility’. Noemi will be powered by two electric motors with up to 1MW combined output, driven by lithium batteries (provided by Electric Power Systems). An unpressurised cabin will seat between nine and 13 passengers.

“Our team is delighted by the recognition and endorsement of Noemi,” explained founding CEO Eric Lithun, extending his thanks to Enova and Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, for “recognizing [Elfly’s] business case and aligning with [Elfly’s] programme as a viable solution”.

Elfly CEO Eric Lithun and Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment

This week’s confirmation of a substantial grant from Enova SF, Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, brings Elfly’s ambitious amphibian one step closer to achieving ‘key milestones at its Jarlsberg, Norway facility’. With the project having been awarded more than USD$10 million in soft funding, combined with matched funding from early investors, the prototype Noemi is currently being readied for its first flight in 2025.

The production variant will be optimized for 108nm commercial air journeys, flying at up to 135kts, and is projected to enter service in 2030. With the Norwegian fjords and lakes an ideal location to optimize the integration of an amphibious aircraft, Lithun explained: “Our fjords can be turned into potential (floating) airports without destroying nature… first and foremost is the need for sustainable travel, which we believe will also enable many economic opportunities for coastal communities”.