The American company Wright Electric will install its 2 MW electric propulsion system on the BAe 146 regional aircraft and plans to fly the aircraft in fully electric mode over the next three years.
The Wright Spirit will incorporate Wright’s megawatt class electric propulsion system and will be capable of carrying up to 100 passengers on hour-long flights. Wright Electric plans to convert the existing BAe 146 aircraft – a four-engine, 100-passenger aircraft originally manufactured by British Aerospace in 1983, with its all-electric propulsion system.
‘)} // ->
The BAe 146 is the same aircraft that Airbus and Rolls-Royce modified for their E-Fan X Development Program, which was canceled in April of last year. This project aimed to install and fly a 2.5 MW hybrid-electric propulsion system on a BAe 146.
Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric, said: “Aviation is committed to reducing net carbon emissions by 2050, but we are committed to reducing all emissions by 100% by 2026. Because We built the world’s largest aerospace powertrain, we can build the world’s largest zero-emission retrofit directly serving the world’s busiest roads.
Wright engineers have focused on developing a megawatt-scale electric propulsion system for airplanes since early 2020, when the company moved to new premises in Albany, New York. Wright has proven key system components including high power density and high efficiency inverter and a 2 MW engine, 2,700 hp.
The propulsion system is currently undergoing ground testing. The company plans to begin flight tests in 2023 with an all-electric thruster. Wright then plans to fly a BAe 146 with two all-electric thrusters by 2024, which will lead to all-electric flights by 2026.
According to Wright, the modified 460 mile (740 km) range of the BAe 146 / Wright Spirit will serve the world’s busiest city pairs, such as Seoul-Jeju, London-Paris, Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo and San Francisco- Los Angeles.
“We can have a significant impact on global emissions by targeting this high demand market segment,” Engler said.
Wright Electric was founded in 2016 and also develops the Wright 1 narrow-body aircraft with 186 seats and a range of 800 miles. The company has previously said it is targeting entry into service in 2030 for this aircraft.
The company is partnering with airlines such as European airline Easyjet and business aviation service provider Jetex for the development of its electric aircraft.
David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations at EasyJet, said: “We believe zero-emission planes are essential in combating the environmental impact of aviation and therefore we fully support Wright Electric in its ambition to bring an aircraft to market. zero emissions. Wright has come a long way since we started working with them in 2017 and we salute this announcement as another important milestone on their journey.
The company also won a US $ 650,000 grant from the US Department of Energy’s Electric Aircraft Program to help develop a propulsion system. last october.