Ampaire Announces First Public Electric Flight

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The Highest-Capacity Electric Aircraft Ever Flown Held First Public Test Flight in the Skies Above Southern California on Thursday, Paving the Way for Ampaire Inc. to Have Regular Commercial Service for Passengers and Cargo as Soon as 2021

Aviation Company Ampaire, Inc., Helps Further Cement Los Angeles as the Center of Innovation on Transportation Electrification

Camarillo, California, June 6, 2019​.

Ampaire, Inc. has moved the aviation industry a major step forward with the test flight of the Ampaire 337, the highest-capacity hybrid-electric aircraft ever flown. On Thursday, June 6, Ampaire engineers, investors and journalists witnessed the hybrid-electric Ampaire 337 fly in the skies above Camarillo Airport.

This is a significant step for aviation because never before has a hybrid-electric aircraft this large flown. Ampaire’s 337 is built with a direct path towards commercialization—moving electric aviation firmly from futuristic to attainable.

The aircraft, based on the six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster, was retrofitted with Ampaire’s proprietary electric propulsion system and is powered by a lightweight battery system. The battery-powered electric motor replaces a combustion engine of the aircraft’s original two-engine configuration, and the resulting system is a ‘parallel hybrid’, meaning the internal combustion engine and electric motor work in concert to optimize power output as the plane flies. In hybrid configuration, the aircraft sees significant greenhouse gas emissions savings and operating cost reductions. The experimental plane was flown by a test pilot and flight engineer.

“The first flight of Ampaire’s electric passenger aircraft is a huge step forward for aviation,” said ​Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports. ​“As a cleantech company that was started in our great city as part of LACI, Ampaire’s incredible achievement further cements Los Angeles as the leader in transportation electrification and technology innovation.”

“Imagine that in just a few years you will be able to buy a ticket for a flight that is clean, quiet and inexpensive,” said ​Kevin Noertker, CEO of Ampaire​. “Ampaire is proud to lead the aviation industry in transportation electrification, and we recognize the importance of electric aviation for climate change and community connectivity.”

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, today’s historic flight not only signifies a huge step forward for aviation, it also shines a light on Los Angeles’s leadership in transportation electrification,” said ​Matt Petersen, CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).​ “That’s why I’m so excited for the Ampaire team for their first hybrid-electric flight—as a ​LACI​ portfolio company, Ampaire and their Ampaire 337 flight test program further proves that Los Angeles is a cleantech hub that attracts investment and game-changing innovation for climate solutions.”

“Flight is becoming electric and this is the most incredible team to make that happen! Ampaire’s approach is one of the many reasons we chose to support them through ​our accelerator program​,” said ​Van Espahbodi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Starburst Accelerator.​ “We see tremendous potential in their business model, and we’re excited to see them achieve this significant technical milestone.”

Aircraft are a significant contributor to both ​local and global emissions​. Electric and hybrid-electric aircraft will reduce GHG emissions and air pollution even as more and more goods and people fly. In addition, electric aircraft are quieter, more efficient and cost much less to fly and maintain connecting communities, making skies quieter.

Ampaire has mapped a clear path from today’s first test flight of a prototype to commercial operations in 2021. Thursday’s test flight follows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) May 2019 airworthiness approval to begin a flight test program. The test flights will see the aircraft fly multiple times per week from June through August 2019 and will gather data about the electric propulsion performance characteristics.

In late 2019, Ampaire will begin a ​pilot project​ on a commercial route on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The aircraft will be a newly retrofitted Cessna 337 built with learnings from the test flight program that inform the configuration of the battery and motor. This aircraft will be a pre-production prototype and will move Ampaire closer to commercial readiness.

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Ampaire’s focus is on supplying aircraft to regional airlines— who typically fly short-haul—often serving remote communities and island regions. In addition to the upcoming pilot project in Maui, Ampaire is also in collaboration with Vieques Air Link (VAL), a regional airline in Puerto Rico, to ​establish a pilot project in the region​. Alongside Mokulele Airlines and VAL, Ampaire has signed Letters of Interest with 14 other airlines across the world.

About Ampaire

Ampaire is leading the charge in aircraft electrification. The Los Angeles based company is on a mission to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical and compelling electric aircraft. To start, Ampaire is retrofitting existing passenger aircraft to electric. It’s the leanest, fastest, most capital efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality. As a LACI portfolio company, Ampaire has its roots in Los Angeles. Ampaire’s vision is to make flights more accessible to more people from more airports by providing electric aircraft that are safe, clean, quiet, and less costly to operate.

Source: Ampaire

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens Team up for Electric Future

Partnership launches E-Fan X hybrid-electric flight demonstrator

 
London,  November 28,  2017: Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator which will be a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft.
The three companies together announced the groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together some of the world’s foremost experts in electrical and propulsion technologies, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.  
The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven. 
“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ Chief Technology Officer. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.”
 The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The program also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality.
As part of the E-Fan X program, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens will each contribute with their extensive experience and know-how in their respective fields of expertise:
ð       Airbus will be responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls.
ð       Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor.
ð       Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. This comes on top of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration between Airbus and Siemens, launched in 2016, which aims at development and maturation of various electric propulsion system components and their terrestrial demonstration across various power classes.
Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce, Chief Technology Officer, said: “The E-Fan X enables us to build on our wealth of electrical expertise to revolutionize flight and welcome in the third generation of aviation. This is an exciting time for us as this technological advancement will result in Rolls-Royce creating the world’s most powerful flying generator.
 “Siemens has been driving innovation in core technology fields at full speed,” said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens. “In April 2016 we opened a new chapter in electric-mobility with the collaboration with Airbus. Building up electric propulsion for aircraft, we are creating new perspectives for our company and also for our customers and society. With the E-Fan X partnership, we now take the next step to demonstrate the technology in the air.”
Among the top challenges for today’s aviation sector is to move towards a means of transport with improved environmental performance, that is more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. The partners are committed to meeting the EU technical environmental goals of the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation (reduction of CO2 by 60%, reduction of NOx by 90% and noise reduction by 75%). These cannot be achieved with the technologies existing today. Therefore, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are investing in and focusing research work in different technology areas including electrification. Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion are seen today as among the most promising technologies for addressing these challenges.

E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator based on a BAe 146 is anticipated to fly in 2020 with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor

Source: Airbus