Electric planes run to market

ZeroAvia and Eviation Aircraft Inc. have both predicted in recent announcements that 2024 will be the year their electric planes go into service. Each combines proven technologies with innovation in the hope of speeding up the certification process. For ZeroAvia, that means using a hydrogen fuel cell to store energy and go beyond battery limits. Eviation, on the other hand, uses state-of-the-art batteries to power electric motors in a clean aircraft optimized for electric propulsion.

ZeroAvia, with operations in Hollister, California and the UK, announced on June 29 that a pair of 19-seat Dornier 228 twin-engine aircraft will be fitted with electric motors and compressed hydrogen tanks for zero-emission flight, the next step in a progression that began with test flights in a Piper single engine. The company also announced a new inflow of investor capital: $ 13 million from various venture capital entities, including Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, bringing ZeroAvia’s running total to $ 37 million. of private investment to date in the development of hydrogen powered aircraft propulsion, along with millions more the UK government has pledged to spur the development of zero emission airliners.

In recent years, ZeroAvia has successfully converted an M-Class single-engine six-seat Piper to run on hydrogen, with the stated intention of upgrading to larger planes, eventually with more than 50 seats.

Israel-founded Eviation Aircraft has made its home in Arlington, Washington, not far from electric aviation pioneer magniX, and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, is also Executive Chairman of Eviation. The aspiring aircraft manufacturer described its new Alice prototype as a “nine passenger, two crew member” with a maximum payload of 2,500 pounds. These and other specifications announced, including a top cruising speed of 220 knots and a range of 440 nautical miles, remain subject to change, the company noted.

Alice will be powered by a pair of maxni650 electric motors, controlled by a fly-by-wire system designed by Honeywell, and draw power from a single-volume battery made with currently available cells that “don’t depend on progress. future, ”the company noted in its announcement. “These proven technologies and design elements allow pilots to easily and reliably transition to piloting the Alice and will create a superior passenger flying experience, accelerating the aircraft’s time to market. “

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