The history of ELA Aviation begins in the early 1980s, when Emilio Lopez Alemany, born in 1958 and a great passionate about aviation, began the construction of an airplane made of composite materials (fiberglass and carbon). At the beginning of the 90s, Emilio discovers the gyrocopter, a spanish invention by D. Juan de la Cierva, and manufactures his first model. It is a gyrocopter without an engine, which when towed with a car, can lift a few meters from the ground. That towed aircraft is a success and Emilio definitely falls in love with the gyrocopter.
The history of ELA Aviación begins in the early 1980s when Emilio López Alemany, born in 1958 and a great aviation enthusiast, starts building an aircraft from composite materials (fiberglass and carbon).
In the early ’90s, Emilio begins to explore the idea of developing an autogyro, a Spanish invention by D. Juan de la Cierva, and starts manufacturing his first model. It is a motorless prototype that, towed by a car, can lift a few meters off the ground. This allows him to research and learn to fly in an autogyro since there were no schools or documentation about them at that time.
The towed autogyro invention is a success, and Emilio falls in love with the advantages of the rotary wing over the fixed wing, foreseeing the future that awaited these types of aircraft overlooked by aviation.
In 1996, Emilio manages to build his first motorized autogyro, the ELA-03, which, upon seeing it fly with performance exceeding expectations, decides, along with his wife Rita Nieves, a partner and co-founder, to create ELA Aviación.
In 1998, ELA builds its first two-seater autogyro, the ELA-04. Discovering the potential, advantages, safety, and ease of flying that the autogyro offered compared to the airplane and helicopter, the family decides to bet on this new project and dedicate themselves fully to it, including their sons Emilio José and Daniel, who, sharing the same passion, also decide to link their future to ELA despite their young age (17 and 15 years respectively).
They start their activity at the small Griñón aerodrome, and by 2002, after testing various engines, they initiate their relationship with the world leader ROTAX, engines that are still present in all models of the factory today. During this period, ELA AVIACIÓN launches the autogyro that made it known worldwide, and positioned it as a reference in the sector, the ELA 07 model.
Due to the company’s growth and the constant increase in orders received, it is decided to expand and move the facilities to the Casarrubios del Monte aerodrome, starting mass production, with Rotax engines, and being the first to initiate the homologation and certification process of an autogyro in Spain and Germany.
The sales success of this model turns ELA AVIACIÓN into a company with great projection, which soon finds itself needing to expand its facilities again. ELA AVIACIÓN definitively moves to Fuente Obejuna (Córdoba) in 2005, to expand its manufacturing volume and operate with complete freedom at its aerodrome, having the necessary confidentiality to test its new prototypes secretly, with its main goal being its new star project, the two-seater enclosed cabin autogyro.
During this period, significant resources are devoted to the research and development of this prototype; however, this project is delayed more than expected, as the prototypes do not meet the specifications required by ELA to launch a model on the market.
Since its foundation, ELA has defended its principles and values above commercial interests, with safety and ease of flight of its aircraft being the main value. During these years, ELA develops up to four different prototypes of enclosed cabin autogyros, which, not meeting the company’s standards and values, decide not to commercialize them, despite being operational.
In its declaration of principles and values, ELA has always upheld its commitment to the truth, promoting and commercializing only autogyros that have objectively and truly passed flight tests and demonstrated that their specifications improve those of the market. The main condition for an aircraft to display the ELA logo is that it is easy and very safe to fly.
Emilio Lopez Sr. decides to exit the company’s ownership in 2011, selling his shares to the other partners, and after a failed project, he completely disengages from the aviation world.
Daniel takes charge of the company’s commercial department, while Emilio José López Jr., assumes the direction of the R&D department, focusing on the design of an enclosed cabin autogyro that is easy and safe to fly.
Emilio Jr. decides to do things differently to achieve different results and starts a new aircraft from scratch. In 2014, after three years of research and development, he manages to put the ELA 10-Eclipse in flight, with spectacular results, becoming a global event, once again achieving the best autogyro manufactured to date.
In 2019, Daniel Lopez decides to step down from the company’s administration to start his personal project FALCON VIEW TOURS, leaving Emilio José López solely in charge of ELA AVIACIÓN.
The 10-Eclipse makes ELA AVIACIÓN the Spanish company that has manufactured and sold the most aircraft in history, but far from being satisfied with the success achieved, Emilio Jr. at the helm of the R&D department initiates the research and development of a new model that revolutionizes the sector.
Following the global success of the 10-Eclipse, the R&D department develops an evolution of it in just two years, managing to present the fastest certified autogyro in history in 2021, the EVO.
In 2023, after 6 years of research and development, ELA once again revolutionizes the aviation world by announcing the launch of its latest model dubbed as REV. A new autogyro that offers performance that no other aircraft can achieve, becoming the autogyro with the shortest takeoff in history.
Today, ELA AVIACIÓN is the benchmark company in the world of autogyros, thanks to its technology and innovative developments, which would not have been possible without its great human team, which has become a big family that continues to grow, and 25 years after its birth, continues with the same enthusiasm as the first day, creating the most innovative aircraft in the world.
ELA decides to start serial production of the ELA-07, with Rotax engines, and starts the homologation process in Spain and Germany. The ELA-07 is selling at a good pace and for the first time, ELA Aviación has become a company with a great projection, competing with the best gyrocopters manufacturers in the world. Due to the great international demand, ELA moved to Fuente Obejuna (Córdoba) in 2005, to operate with total freedom in its aerodrome and builds a modern factory. During all these years, ELA has built 4 fully-enclosed gyrocopters that do not meet the company’s flight stability standards. It was not until 2014, when Emilio J. and Daniel developed ELA 10-Eclipse. A fully-enclosed tandem, which will be the best gyrocopter manufactured by ELA to date.
ELA Aviation is the Spanish company that has manufactured and sold the most aircraft in history and today, it is widely recognized worldwide.The ELA family has a great human team.
Which 25 years after its birth, continues with the same enthusiasm as the first day of spreading the gyrocopter around the world.