World's first hybrid electric 70+ seater aircraft unveiled by UK's Electric Aviation Group
20 July 2020
British design offers a blueprint for sustainable mass air transportation, as well as creating more than 25,000 UK jobs & unlocking $5 billion of investment in the UK aerospace industry.
A pioneering design for a Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft which will deliver a technical and commercial entry point for sustainable mass air transport has been announced today. The disruptive design has been developed by Bristol-based Electric Aviation Group (EAG), a UK-based engineering & development firm, which expects its first aircraft to be in service by 2028.
EAG (formerly known as AMRD – Advanced Mobility Research & Development) has optimised the latest technology, economics and operational parameters to create the design for the Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HERA), to ensure it can solve the twin challenges of decarbonisation and mass transportation.
Key information about the 70+ seater HERA:
• Whisper-quiet operation reduces noise pollution
• Innovative airborne battery regeneration to minimise turn-around time
• Efficient battery integration
• Thermal management of motors and power electronics
• Gear Assisted Take-Off Run (GATOR) gives rapid acceleration for a quick lift-off, reducing energy requirements
• Short take-off-and-landing (STOL) performance enables new route opportunities, affording greater profitability to operators
• Cabin-flex design enables passenger operation during the day and cargo operation at night
• Suitability for operating from regional airports brings convenience to travellers and gives increased proximity to warehouses, enabling private sector cargo to optimise last-mile terrestrial logistics & delivery systems and reduce carbon emissions
• Future-proof design to accommodate alternative energy sources, if available before 2030
• Flexibility to transform into an all-electric or carbon-neutral as the battery density improves, or alternative fuels and associated powertrain technologies mature and become affordable.
The design, which is being unveiled to coincide with the opening of FIA Connect, the virtual Farnborough Airshow today, has received unequivocal support from EAG's JetZero consortium, which includes some of the UK's leading engineering and manufacturing organisations and senior academic advisors.
"Significant investments have been raised to develop sub-19 seat hybrid and all-electric aircraft, which we believe is the wrong strategy. These small planes cannot meet the demands of mass air transportation or the requirements of decarbonisation," commented Kamran Iqbal, founder & CEO at EAG. "Our design is for an aircraft that will initially offer 800 nautical miles range at launch in 2028, and which will be able to carry over 70 people. We will be a first mover in what is a $4.4 trillion market."
EAG will draw on the rich heritage and strong aviation industry in Bristol when it begins production of the new aircraft, for which it has already developed and filed a total of 25 patents, covering a wide range of technologies. The organisation expects to initially create more than 25,000 jobs and unlock $5 billion investments in the UK aerospace industry.
"We expect this to be a great example of British design, engineering and build," said Kamran Iqbal. "Not only will the development of the HERA help the Department of Transport accelerate its 'Jet Zero' carbon reduction goals, it will also help to create much needed job opportunities in the aerospace, manufacturing, engineering and services industries post-Brexit. This represents the future of both passenger and cargo flights internationally and as an opportunity for investment, it could not be better timed."
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