Electric Aviation Group Presents World's First Hybrid Electric 70+ Seater Aircraft
The British company Electric Aviation Group has presented a project for a hybrid passenger aircraft designed to carry 70 people. The design of the aircraft provides the possibility of converting to a fully electric version.
Hybrid and electric aircraft are now considered by developers as one option to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. At the same time, due to the relatively low specific capacity of batteries, most projects provide for the creation of regional passenger aircraft designed to carry a couple of dozen people.
"Significant investments have been raised to develop sub-19 seat hybrid and all-electric aircraft which we believe is the wrong strategy. These small planes cannot meet the demands of mass air transportation or the requirements of decarbonisation," commented Kamran Iqbal, founder and CEO at EAG. "Our design is for an aircraft that will initially offer 800 nautical miles range at launch in 2028, and which will be able to carry over 70 people. We will be a first mover in what is a $4.4 trillion market."
British hybrid passenger aircraft should compete with medium-range turbofan aircraft. According to the project, the British aircraft will be assembled according to the scheme of a high-wing with an elongated wing and two keels located on the ends of the horizontal tail. The aircraft will be fitted with four electric motors, two of which, located closer to the root of the wing, will receive larger-diameter propellers.
In a promising aircraft, it is planned to implement the concept of an electric chassis, which will help acceleration during takeoff. It is assumed that this will increase the speed set and reduce the run-up required for takeoff. The cabin of the aircraft is planned to be modular: within a few hours, it can be converted from passenger to cargo or Vice versa.
The Electric Aviation Group expects that the flight range of the new aircraft will be about 1.5 thousand kilometers. Other details about the aircraft project have not yet been disclosed.
In March 2020, the European Union launched a program to develop a hybrid 50-seat passenger aircraft for regional transport, which can start operating regular flights from 2035-2040. The first stage of the project is designed to develop technologies that can be used in a promising aircraft, as well as to determine the configuration of the aircraft.