Ampaire makes first hybrid-electric flight
Ampaire’s nine-seat Eco Caravan regional aircraft completed its first flight on a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
Ampaire expects it to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter commercial service (certification in 2024).
It is the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircraft planned.
“Aviation is the hardest industry to decarbonize,” said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker.
“Fully-electric aircraft are range limited because of the weight and energy capacity of current-generation batteries.”
“Hybrid-electric aircraft, however, can preserve the range and utility of today’s aircraft.”
In October, it announced a relationship with Air France Industries KLM Engineering for worldwide maintenance service and support.
Ampaire also received an order from MONTE, a financier of sustainable regional aviation technologies, for up to 50 Eco Caravans.
The Eco Caravan upgrades the standard Cessna Grand Caravan with Ampaire’s integrated propulsion system and an electric engine.
A battery pack in a body fairing preserves passenger and cargo capacity for the aircraft.
The first flight was 33 minutes in duration to make initial checks of the propulsion system.
Ampaire is already working with the FAA to certify the Eco Caravan in 2024 under a supplemental type certificate (STC).