Earlier this year Ampaire announced the Eco Caravan, the first hybrid-electric, nine-seat regional aircraft. The EcoCaravan made its first flight on Friday, on a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system, launching a new era of sustainable aviation. The Eco Caravan reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70 percent, leading the way to a sustainability revolution. The seat-mile cost is near that of driving.
“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. That is why we are focused on hybrid-electric propulsion for a series of increasingly capable regional aircraft. It’s a way for the airline industry to decarbonize more quickly and also to benefit from lower operating costs.”
Ampaire expects the Eco Caravan to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter commercial service (pending its certification in 2024) and the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircrafts that will lead a transition to sustainable aviation.
As previously stated, the Eco Caravan reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70 percent. Emissions are near zero when using sustainable aviation fuel. Cost of operation is reduced by 25 to 40 percent depending on airline route structure. Cost per available seat mile is near that of driving.
“Launching hybrid-electric aviation is no simple task, but we have made it easier by upgrading an already certified aircraft,” said Noertker. “We will come to market more quickly and allow airlines around the world to begin to gain operational experience with this new type of propulsion. And we will work with them on follow-on models to meet their network requirements.”