Ampaire Flies Second Hybrid-Electric Prototype - Flight Trials with Hawaiʻi's Mokulele Airlines
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September 14, 2020 - by Ampaire.com
Hybrid electric airplane manufacturer Ampaire moves to next stage in testing electric aviation in airline operating environment
Ampaire prepares for Hawaiʻi flight trials in partnership with Mokulele Airlines and accelerator Elemental Excelerator"
We'recommitted to moving quickly toward real world applications of electric power."Kevin Noertker, Ampaire CEO Camarillo,CA
September 14 th 20 20 Ampaire, a pioneer in electric aviation, flew its second technology demonstrator on Thursday September 10 th The aircraft is a refined version of its Cessna 337 "Electric EEL" hybrid electric aircraft conversion.
The company refers to the new flight test aircraft as the Hawai'i Bird, as it will be flown by Ampaire and Mokulele Airlines pilots on air routes in Hawai'i later this year in a series of demonstration flights. When the aircraft flies on Maui, it will be the first time an electrically powered aircraft has flown under an FAA "market survey" experimental aircraft certificate in order to gain real world flight experience.".
Since flying our first Electric EEL last year, we have made substantial improvements to the power train for efficiency, increased performance, reliability and safety," said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. "
This technology is scalable with wide applications for scheduled passenger and cargo services, as well as charter services. Our flights with Mokulele will be an opportunity to test both the aircraft and the infrastructure required to advance electric aviation and transport access in Hawai'i."
Noertker said he expected the company to leverage knowledge from the 337 conversion program into retrofits of larger regional aircraft that could enter service in just a few years.
The Hawai'i Bird is powered by a conventional combustion engine a 310 horsepower/231 kW Continental IO 550) in the tail, and a 200kW capable electric motor in the nose, limited in this application to 120 kW. In this second conversion, the aircraft's battery pack has been relocated from inside the cabin to the underside of the fuselage and enclosed in a composite aero optimized shell.
The new configuration frees cabin space for flight test engineers, test equipment, and observers. An aircraft such as Ampaire's Electric EEL can cut direct operating costs and emissions by 40 50 percent versus conventional aircraft, playing an essential part in helping Hawai'i reach its goal of 10 0% renewable energy for electricity by 2045.
Int his latest conversion, the Electric Power Unit ( used by the aircraft is designed for improved energy efficiency with less weight.
The EPU has better thermal margins thanks to a liquid cooling system versus the previous air cooling system. The aircraft also has improved cockpit instrumentation and power controls for monitoring outputs from the combustion engine and electric motor.
Designed to cruise at 120 knots for 1 hour and 15 minutes, plus a 30 minute reserve, The Hawaii Bird can fly most Mokulele routes round trip before a required recharge...
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