Further progress toward an all-electric aircraft has been reported by EasyJet. Partner and US start-up company, Wright Electric, has commenced work on an electric engine that will power a nine seater aircraft.
Wright Electric partner Axter Aerospace already has a two seater aircraft flying, and the larger aircraft is expected to start flying in 2019. The prototype propulsion system for the nine-seat aircraft is four times more powerful than the system installed on the two-seat aircraft.
EasyJet said it was looking at where it could establish “electric flyways” on key short-haul routes, with London – Amsterdam, Europe’s second busiest route, seen as a key contender. CEO Johan Lundgren added: “From the two-seater aircraft, which is already flying, to the nine-seater which will fly next year, electric flying is becoming a reality and we can now foresee a future that is not exclusively dependent on jet fuel.”
Heathrow recently said it would waive landing fees for a year for the operator of the first regular electric-hybrid aircraft to go into service at the airport, a prize it says is worth nearly £1m.