Ampaire’s Eco Caravan, a nine-seat regional aircraft, has made its first flight on a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system.

Ampaire expects it to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter commercial service (with certification in 2024) and the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircraft that will lead a transition to sustainable aviation.

“Aviation is the hardest industry to decarbonise,” 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 gains momentum

The flight adds momentum to a programme that has attracted key customers and participants in recent months. In October, the company announced a relationship with Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) for a range of worldwide maintenance service and support activities.

Also last month, Ampaire received an order from Monte, a financier of sustainable regional aviation technologies, for up to 50 Eco Caravans.

“These types of relationships ensure that Ampaire’s customers worldwide have compelling financing and leasing support alongside world class maintenance/repair/overhaul support,” said Noertker.
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