Largest hybrid electric plane set to take flight

Dubbed the EEL, the aircraft is in fact a retrofit of a Cessna 337, an aircraft that has a forward-mounted prop engine that pulls and a rear-mounted prop engine that pushes.

337 Arial+shot2
Ampair
LOS ANGELES - Not long ago, hybrids were novelties on roads around the world. The skies may be next. Ampair, a Los Angeles clean tech company in my neck of the woods, is set to begin accepting orders for a hybrid electric aircraft at the EAA AirVenture airshow in Wisconsin next week. Dubbed the EEL, the aircraft is in fact a retrofit of a Cessna 337, an aircraft that has a forward-mounted prop engine that pulls and a rear-mounted prop engine that pushes. Ampair's retrofit will replace one of those internal combustion engines with an electric motor powered by batteries, writes Greg Nichols for ZDNet.com. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

July 19, 2019-The EEL is a neat bit of engineering that retrofits a 50-plus year-old Cessna Skymaster design with a modern hybrid electric-combustion system to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50%.

“The Cessna 337 modification is a first step," said Ampair CEO Kevin Noertker. "The next may be a hybrid or fully electric retrofit of a nine- to 19-passenger commuter/cargo aircraft. As batteries and powertrains mature, we will shift our focus to clean-sheet designs such as our nine-passenger, zero-emissions Tailwind concept. By that time, we will have established strong cash-flow from retrofit programs as well as engineering and certification expertise that will earn the confidence of investors, partners, aircraft operators, and regulators.”

The EEL is scheduled to enter flight trials on on commercial routes with Mokulele Airlines in Hawaii with FAA certification projected for 2021.


Related: Airbus E-Fan electric aircraft makes U.S. debut with hybrid engine

Related: Honeywell to debut 200 kw hybrid-electric turbogenerator prototype next month

Related: UK start-up Faradair announces it will launch its hybrid electric commercial flyer by 2025

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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