Designed to carry 19 passengers, the plane needs only 750 metres of runway and can fly 250 miles
The 19-seat ES-19 aeroplane runs on a combination of electric motors and batteries. Designed by Swedish aviation startup Heart Aerospace, the plane can fly up to 250 miles based on the strength of the electric-powered batteries available today. The company has built a full-scale working prototype of its electric propulsion system and recently received an order of 200 planes from the United States carrier, United Airlines.
All-electric planes are much quieter than jet-fuel powered ones and produce zero emissions. Heart is focusing on restarting many of the short regional routes of travel that fell out of favour, as costs grew too high. This is made possible because the costs of the electric motors and required general maintenance are so much less than that required by turboprop and turbofan engines. Route length is likely to increase as battery power grows, and ideally, many of the new flight paths will replace driving routes. Additionally, the planes need much shorter runways, making it easy for them to use many of the small, local airports that are already in existence.
Working towards a goal of having full commercial certification by 2026, Heart is now focusing on completing the many other systems that make up a functional aircraft, including de-icing capability and all-important flight control. Operating within current aviation processes and regulations should help the business achieve its certification goal.
Aviation is seeking to improve its sustainability in many ways, and Springwise has spotted innovations that include a hybrid-electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically, as well as improvements in engine design that reduce both emissions and fuel use.
Written by: Keely Khoury