Fleet Press Release Sustain

Ampaire eHybrid


Ampaire announces RED Aircraft GmbH as Reciprocating Engine Supplier for Hybrid-Electric Eco Caravan.

Both Companies Envision Collaboration on Additional Hybrid-Electric Programs

Oshkosh, WI (July 25, 2022) Ampaire today announced a key exclusive supplier for the hybrid-electric propulsion system it is developing for its Eco Caravan aircraft, an upgrade to the current Cessna Grand Caravan. Ampaire will use a 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 and the Ampaire electrical system provides the peak power.

Under the terms of an MOU between the companies, the two will work to commercialize electrified propulsion aircraft, with Ampaire developing complete hybrid-electric propulsion systems and certifying them for various applications up to 800 hp, while RED Aircraft will develop, certify, and supply Jet A/SAF compatible engine subsystems to Ampaire.

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.

  • 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. Durability and reliability of the RED engine has been demonstrated in applications such as the Air Tractor AT 301, an agricultural aircraft, and the YAK-152 aerobatic trainer.
  • Eco Caravan operating cost is 25-40 percent lower depending on an operator’s route structure.

Ampaire conducted the first Eco Caravan hybrid powertrain ground runs in April 2022, with plans to fly the aircraft in the second half of the year. The company is working with the FAA to achieve supplemental type certificate (STC) approval by 2024.

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.

“The modern, powerful and ultra-fuel-efficient RED engines have exactly the right characteristics for the Eco Caravan’s hybrid-electric propulsion system and for many other upgrades or all-new designs we may pursue,” said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. “We are very pleased to take this first step in collaboration with a company that shares our goal to decarbonize aviation while reducing costs for aircraft operators and their passengers.”

“RED Aircraft sees enormous potential for hybrid-electric aircraft and believes the Eco Caravan is just the first step to bringing a new level of efficiency and vastly lower emissions to a large swath of aviation,” said Jürgen Schwarz, CEO. “We are thrilled to be pursuing these opportunities hand-in-hand with Ampaire.”

About Ampaire

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

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.


Fleet Press Release

Fletcher FU-24

RED A03 in a Fletcher FU-24 during take-off.

RED A03 installed in the Fletcher FU-24

Recently a Fletcher FU-24 took its maiden flight in New Zealand, now using the modern common rail compression ignition RED A03-003 engine with 500 HP, replacing its original 400 HP 8 cylinder AVGAS engine.

Diesel Air New Zealand Ltd., in New Zealand, and RED Aircraft, in Germany, have been working hard to retrofit the classic PAC FU-24 Fletcher. An iconic single engine, low wing propeller STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) aircraft. It is widely used as an agriculture crop dusting aircraft as well as for dropping parachutists. This aircraft first flew in the middle of the 1950’s and has been in production in various variants till 1992.

Classic aircraft, like the FU-24 Fletcher, are facing more and more challenges to operate due to their older engines that are burning expensive, lead containing, AVGAS fuel and where maintenance becomes more difficult due to parts shortage. For this reason RED Aircraft is working on a number of projects to modernize these classic aircraft.

Diesel Air New Zealand has done a marvellous job to install the RED A03 engine into the Fletcher’s airframe. After the installation and engine certification with the New Zealand Aviation Authorities, the Fletcher recently took to the skies, showing off her impressive performance with the new 500 HP Compression Ignition (CI) engine.

Bill Sutherland, owner of Diesel Air New Zealand commented:

“We were more than pleased with how EUC (ZK-EUC, registration of the aircraft ed.) performed on its maiden flight. Our test pilot, Bill O’Connor, a widely experienced Fletcher pilot, could not get the smile off his face.

We now have the supervised Flight Test Schedule to get through to complete our Experimental phase. We will get onto this very quickly, to then be able to demonstrate the economics of the operation of the RED A03. We have a conservative estimate that the V12 will operate consuming 20% less fuel than the 400hp Lycoming 720, while producing 25% more horsepower. If the comparison is made  with the 550hp turbine engines already fitted to Fletchers the fuel saving is a minimum of 40%.

Our target for the fitting of the A03 engine are topdressing- and parachuting companies operating Fletchers.

Diesel Air New Zealand Ltd will be the STC holder and are using Phoenix Aviation Maintenance (2021) Ltd, a closely aligned aircraft maintenance company, to provide engineering support. RED are in the process of organizing worldwide product support. Diesel Air (NZ) Ltd Have applied to be included.”

The RED CI engines boost an impressively lower fuel consumption, less maintenance intervals (that are faster to do) and high reliability thanks to its redundant systems and engine data logging systems that show performance trends of many components in the engine. Along with many other improvements, the engine is certified for more efficient fuels such as Kerosine. Tests with SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) are positive and a certification process is projected. The engine that the 500 HP RED A03-003 replaces in the Fletcher, is the Lycoming IO-720-A1A, which produces a maximum of 400 HP. The use of the RE A03 will reduce the operating costs of this iconic aircraft considerably.

This is a retrofit project we are very excited about and will make sure to keep you posted on our various channels. The pictures enclosed show the engine installation and the first take-off with the RED A-03. For further information regarding fitting of the RED A03 into the Fletcher please contact Bill Sutherland.  Email


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver

DHC Beaver with RED A03

DHC-2 Beaver








HAL Airlander


Otto Aviation Celera 500L

RED A03 Otto Celera 500L

The simple quote from the OTTO AVIATION Homepage:

We really appreciated the smooth and highly professional integration of our engine into this breathtaking new aircraft design. A good part of the SAF compliance and evaluation was done in this project.

CELERA 500L _2021 from Otto Aviation on Vimeo.



RED A03 Powered YAK-18T

Red aircraft GmbH has successfully fitted its revolutionary RED A03 engine to a YAK18T. By retrofitting a brand new engine to a pre-existing airframe, RED seeks to demonstrate the key benefits provided by the engine to other manufacturers and operators.

RED aircraft has successfully test flown a YAK-18T fitted with its highly efficient RED A03 engine. The flight represents a significant milestone for the company as it has exceeded expectations concerning performance and efficiency. In an unorthodox and proactive move, it was Raikhlin Aircraft Developments who initiated the conversion. In doing so, they have practically demonstrated several key benefits provided by the engine.

The Yak-18T was developed in the 1960s as a basic trainer, used to train Aeroflot pilots. It also saw sporadic use in the Soviet military as communication and reconnaissance aircraft. In more modern times, it was adopted as a reliable and affordable touring aircraft. With up to five seats, it provides plenty of room. The airframe is heavier than other aircraft of equal size, so it provided RED Aircraft with the ideal opportunity to demonstrate how effectively a high-powered engine can be utilized and retrofitted to something that would benefit most effectively.

RED was delighted with the performance of the engine. In a statement issued by the company, Jürgen Schwarz said:

”Compared to the traditional powerplant, the aircraft’s cruise speed increased significantly, while having more power reserves available. The aircraft is now equipped with modern instrumentation allowing for a precise control and monitoring of its engine systems. The YAK -18T- RED A03 is set for a brighter future with its powerful and more efficient power plant the RED A03” 

The benefits provided by the engine are numerous. The YAK-18T has always been a versatile aircraft. In particular, its ability to take off and land in very short distances makes it the ideal platform to test an engine that can provide 500HP at sea level. It is also capable of aerobatics. With Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), pilots can ensure accuracy and precision in the power they require during any manoeuvre while minimizing pilot workload.

The YAK-18T is a single-engine aircraft. Types such as these have a greater requirement for the utmost reliability. The RED A03 features two-cylinder bank redundancy, each of which is capable of independent operation. This significantly increases safety in the operation of the engine. The FADEC also stores and monitors engine data, allowing early identification of potential problems. This can also serve to reduce the potential downtime when maintenance is required.

By retrofitting the RED A03 engine, RED Aircraft has shown that solutions, such as theirs, are the future of aviation propulsion, both in new conceptual aeroplanes and existing types. By fitting the engine to existing airframes that traditionally used older and less efficient systems, the results spoke for themselves.

The RED A03 gave the YAK-18T exceptional climb performance. In fact, with the new engine onboard, the climb rate was doubled. Other key metrics were improved by similar margins. With the RED A03 fitted, the useful load of the YAK was increased by over 50%. The maximum speed was an area of particular interest. With the ‘old’ engine, the YAK could expect to reach a maximum speed of around 262 km/h. The RED A03 allows it to reach a maximum speed of around 400km/h.

The above is even more impressive when considering that the A03 was found to use 20-40% less fuel while achieving the above numbers. With longer missions, this represents a significant cost saving.

This project, voluntarily undertaken by RED Aircraft, demonstrated their confidence in the design and specification of the high-performance engine. By retroactively and successfully modifying an older aircraft with new technology, they have opened the door to a world of exciting possibilities. This is true for both newer concept aircraft like the Otto Celera and pre-existing airframes that could be ideally placed to take advantage of better efficiency and performance

The Aircraft is for sale. Demo flights and presales inspection are available at Termikas in Kaunas. Price talks may start at 480,000 Euros plus Tax if applicable.

 YAK – 18T
Engine M14PA03-00
Maximum Rangekm4001.134
General Performance  
Maximum speed TASkm/h262410
Fuel consumtion at 300 hpkg/h6648
Fuel consumtion at 460 hpkg/h 75
Rate of climbft/min9902100
Fuel Economy  
Fuel prices EUEur2,852,45
fuel cost per hourEUR250,80158,92
fuel cost per 100h operationEUR25.08015.892
average saveEUR -9.188
fuel cost per 1000h operationEUR250.800158.919
average saveEUR -91.881
fuel cost per 3000h operationEUR752.400476.757
average saveEUR/Gal -275.643

The key Arguments:

  • 20% to 40% lower fuel burn compared to turbine
  • Air induction (turbo charged).
  • Common Rail Direct Fuel Injection .
  • High-efficiency liquid-cooling circuit.
  • FADEC, single-lever powertrain control
  • Integrated dual-lane redundancy in FADEC.
  • Design Assurance Level: DAL B.
  • Self-carrying engine structure design
  • Enables use of 10 mounting points on the rear engine face for cantilever installation.
  • Integrated cowling-attachment points.
  • Dry-sump oil lubrication system with multiple scavenge pumps.
  • Engine and transmission oil reservoir integrated in gear box housing.
  • Engine and gearbox oil integrated heat exchanger, mounted on the engine block.
  • Self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters.
  • Spur-gear driven camshaft and auxiliary pumps
  • Two optional alternators 28 V, up to 120 Amp.
  • Auxiliary flange AND 20010 for optional auxiliary drive (up to 6.5 KW).
  • Designed for manufacturability and ease of maintenance

Electric system changes

24V DC
Two main electrical  Busses – main bus 1 and 2.
2 Alternators / 2 Batteries
Essential Bus – fed from the two main busses
Single failure tolerant layout. A single fault will not result in Loss of Power

Fuel system

Kerosene fuel (TC-1, JET-A…)
Fuel capacity increased to 380 L
Redundant fuel supply, with 3 feed transfer pumps

Glass cockpit

10” – HDX1100 Screens, MFD and PFD
Dynon Skyview System
Standby Flight Instruments EFIS, COM
Radiopanel PS Engineering – PMA8000BT
Mode-S Transponder
Traffic Alarm (FLARM)
Engine Display –  MVP-50T
Optional capability for IFR and Autopilot

Engine Frame


MTV-9 or MTV-5 Propeller System

Pneumatic system change

Hydraulic retractable Gear
Hydraulic Flaps
No pneumatic component



Air Tractor AT-301

The AT-301 is widely used for agricultural work and was manufactured by Air Tractor in the US since 1976. The original engine was a P&W R-1340 designed in the 20th of the last century. Although the production numbers were rather high over the years, the fuel consumption and the spare part availability became a real obstacle as the aircraft earns money when in the air. With 100 LL prices in the area of 0.30 $/gal in the 70th, the engine did it’s job and everybody was happy.

Climate and fuel prices change, the job still is the same, costs and competition rise. It’s time to check where costs could be reduced. The RED A03 was the positive answer. A significant lower fuel consumption, Jet-A instead of AvGas, about the same power range – that looked like a real promising challenge.

It works.