Air Canada has announced that it has invested in Heart Aerospace, an electric aircraft startup, and is ordering 30 new versions of its first electric plane.
“We’ve worked hard and with great success to reduce our footprint, but we know that reaching our net zero emissions goal will require new technologies like the ES-30. We are confident that the Heart Aerospace team has the expertise to deliver on the ES-30’s promise of a cleaner, greener aviation future. “Air Canada Team.
Battery technology has improved enough that short-range commercial aircraft are starting to make sense. Several startups are working on viable electric planes, and some are starting to catch the eyes of major airlines.
At the launch of the aircraft last year, Heart Aerospace also announced that it had received investment from major partners: United Airlines Ventures (UAV), Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which is the investment vehicle of Bill Gates, and Mesa Airlines. At that time, United and Mesa announced that they had ordered 100 ES-19 electric aircraft and had 100 more.
“The introduction into our fleet of the ES-30 electric regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace will be a step forward to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” Air Canada chief executive Michael Rousseau said in a statement.
A year later, Heart Aerospace decided to replace the ES-19 with the new ES-30, a 30-passenger electric aircraft.
The company announced in a press release:
The new model, known as the ES-30, is an electric regional airliner with a capacity of 30 passengers and replaces the previous 19-seat model of the company. company, ES-19. It is driven by a battery-powered electric motor, which allows the aircraft to operate with zero emissions and low noise.
The change appears to have been driven by Heart’s aviation partners, who have all said they are updating their controls to the new version of the aircraft.
Heart Aerospace designed the interior configuration of the ES-30. The new ES-30 features a comfortable three-seat cabin and a showroom and washroom. Luggage storage and overhead bins will complement the large outside luggage and cargo compartments and provide airlines with network flexibility.
The company is committed to battery technology. When it came out of stealth mode last year, they believed battery technology would allow it to have a commercially viable 19-passenger electric plane with a range of 250 miles (400 km) by 2026.
Now it’s a larger, 30-passenger plane. It will have a much shorter all-electric range of 125 miles, but it will have a reserve hybrid configuration, including two turbo generators, for an initial range of 250 miles and reserve power requirements.
The Reserve-Hybrid turbocharger is a new technology developed by companies such as Honeywell and Rolls-Royce that allows aircraft to have electric motors powered by jet fuel.
Heart Aerospace still aims for its aircraft to be primarily battery-powered and expects range to be improved through battery technology.
The new aircraft is currently scheduled for commercial flights in 2028.
Air Canada and Saab, a Swedish aerospace and defence company, said they also purchased a $5 million stake in Heart Aerospace.
Meanwhile, Heart Aerospace has revealed plans to build a production and testing facility at Save Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as nearly quadruple its current workforce of 130 people by 2020. 2025.
The aviation industry has been interested in electric aircraft more than once, but as of now, the reserve battery capacity is not enough for long-haul flights. The industry is currently focused on small aircraft and designing and building regional planes with several dozen seats.
In addition to its investment, Air Canada has also ordered 30 ES-30 aircraft.
The company has now confirmed that, in addition to United and Air Canada, Nordic airlines Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), Icelandair, SAS, and Sounds Air of New Zealand have all ordered their electric aircraft.