Heart Aerospace replaced the 19-seat design of its old ES-19 aircraft with the battery-powered 30-seat ES-30. The Swedish startup has also confirmed Air Canada as a new minority shareholder with an investment of $5 million and an order form for 30 ES-30 aircraft.
Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defense manufacturer, is joining Air Canada as a new minority shareholder in Heart Aerospace with its own separate $5 million investment in the company. According to details of the ES-30 released by Heart Aerospace last week, the ES-30 is powered by four electric motors using lithium-ion batteries as the primary power source and two long-lasting turbogenerators powered by aviation fuel. as reserves.
Heart Aerospace describes this as a “standby hybrid configuration” where the pair of turbogenerators “can also be used while cruising on longer flights to supplement the electrical power provided by the batteries.” On battery charge alone, the ES-30 is being developed to fly a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) with an altitude ceiling of 20,000 feet.
(Air Canada posted this computer-generated concept video of the ES-30 flying in an Air Canada livery Air Canada: Air Canada ES-30 on Vimeo.)
The company also specifies an extended range of 400 kilometers with 30 passengers and the ability to fly up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers. Heart’s target range for the ES-30 is similar to that of the ES-19 which was also being developed to fly up to 400 kilometers.
Air Canada expects the ES-30’s battery system to have a charge time of “30 to 50 minutes.”
“The introduction to our fleet of Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 electric regional aircraft will be a step towards our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Michael Rousseau, President and CEO of Air Canada, in the press release. . “Already, Air Canada is supporting the development of new technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels and carbon capture, to fight climate change. We are now strengthening our commitment by investing in revolutionary electric aircraft technology, both as a customer of the ES-30 and as an equity partner of Heart Aerospace.”
Over the past year, Heart Aerospace has continued to make progress on what has now become the ES-30 aircraft development program. Key achievements include confirmation that Garmin International will supply its G3000 Integrated Flight Deck for the ES-30 cockpit. Garmin explained in an interview with International Avionics last year how their work with Heart will focus on interfacing the aircraft’s battery management system, engine control units and other electric powertrain components with G3000 computers.
In January, Heart performed a test flight with a 1:5 scale model of the ES-19 that was powered by off-the-shelf commercial electric motors. The startup also noted at the time that its electric drivetrain had been in ground testing for over a year. No further details on a timeline for the first flight or ground test of a full-scale ES-30 aircraft have been released.
On the same day as the investment announcements from Air Canada and Saab shareholders, a new industry advisory board was added and plans were released for the development of an electric aircraft development campus. Heart is constructing new offices and production and flight test families for the new campus, “Northern Runway”, which will be located in Gothenburg.
Their new ES-30 Industry Advisory Board includes representatives from 21 airlines, including Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Cebu Pacific, Icelandair and United Airlines, among others. United Airlines has also committed to a future purchase agreement for up to 100 electric planes from Heart Aerospace. The startup has also received letters of intent from SAS, Wideroe, Air Greenland and Finnair, among others.