Ampaire Cessna Eco-Caravan successfully completed the hybrid Jet-A/Electric maiden flight usind the RED A03 Jet-A engine.
Los Angeles (Nov 18th, 2922) A Cessna Grand Caravan took off from Camarillo airport, north-east of Los Angeles in a pure hybrid installation using the Ampaire electric motor and battery in combination with the RED A03 V12 Jet-A compression ignition engine Made & Developed in Germany.
“The moment you find out that milestones are reached: priceless.”
Ampaire is developing hybrid-electric propulsion system for its Eco Caravan aircraft, an upgrade to the current Cessna Grand Caravan. Ampaire uses the RED Aircraft AO3 series compression ignition engine rated to 550 hp (405 kW) in an integrated parallel configuration. The RED engine provides the base power, Ampaires electrical system supplies peak power, the battery and charging system.
Using existing aircraft, the efficient energy management and the RED A03 compression ignited engine on SAF, commercial aviation turns into a “net-zero” scenario.
The new propulsion system for the Eco Caravan offers substantial benefits to users and will be the first in a series of electrified fixed-wing aircraft that reduce aviation’s carbon footprint. The first prototype and proof of concept had it’s maidenflight today.
· Fuel consumption is reduced by 70 percent on shorter trips and 50 percent on longer ones with greater corresponding reductions in CO2 emissions due to the contribution of the electric motor and the optimized use of the RED engine.
· The RED engine provides high thermodynamic efficiency that is 2X better than a comparable turboprop engine.
· The RED engine is JET A/SAF compatible. With SAF usage, CO2 emissions have the potential for net zero.
· Engine initial cost and ongoing maintenance are substantially lower than for a turboprop engine.
· Eco Caravan operating cost is 25-40 percent lower depending on an operator’s route structure.
Ampaire is working with the FAA to achieve supplemental type certificate (STC) approval by 2024 and this maidenflight confirms the ambitious plan of milestones to reach that target. An impressive number of Grand Caravan operators already signed conversion contracts, trusting in the technical concept and the ability to reach targets in time.
The Eco Caravan will retain the payload capabilities of the Grand Caravan, carrying up to 11 passengers or 2,500 pounds of cargo. Range improves to 1,100 nautical miles.
Los Angeles-based Ampaire was formed in 2016 with a mission to become the world’s most-trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft. The company is upgrading existing passenger aircraft to hybrid-electric power – the quickest, most efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality with available technology. The company ultimately intends to offer upgraded and all-new hybrid-electric and fully electric aircraft. Ampaire technology is scalable to larger aircraft, including large regional aircraft.
Ampaire has scored a series of industry firsts since the 2019 maiden flight of its Electric EEL technology testbed aircraft. Its EEL market demonstration aircraft has flown nonstop from Los Angeles to San Francisco and the length of the UK. In April 2022, Ampaire began ground power runs of its Eco Caravan hybrid-electric upgrade of the Cessna Grand Caravan, slated for certification and service introduction in 2024. For more information about Ampaire www.ampaire.com.
About RED Aircraft
RED Aircraft’s mission is to power today’s and tomorrow’s aircraft efficiently and cost-effectively. The company is achieving these goals by using highly efficient internal combustion engines, the use of alternative fuels and hybrid technologies such as electrification.
RED Aircraft is a brand of Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments GmbH based in Adenau, Germany. RED Aircraft develops highly sophisticated and innovative engine solutions for motorsports and aviation. The award winning RED A-03 series is a V12 compression-ignition engine, offering 550 hp/405 kW and is targeted to the GA, small commercial aircraft and UAV market intending to improve the eco balance in avoiding inefficient gas turbine designs.