Electric commercial aircraft becoming a reality

easyJet Wright electric

easyJet’s partner Wright Electric has begun development on a greener aircraft

It has unveiled design concepts for a 186-seater electric plane engine development program and set out a timeline for its testing programme.

The startup is building a 1.5-MW electric motor and inverter at three kilovolts, components that pave the way towards a future for zero emissions flight in Europe and beyond.

It intends to conduct ground tests of its motor in 2021 and flight tests in 2023.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented: “This is another crucial step for our partner Wright Electric to move towards the introduction of commercial electric aircraft and it is exciting to see their ambitious timeline for testing and entry into service.  

“Battery technology is advancing at pace with numerous US government agencies now funding research into electric aviation – all of these developments help us to more clearly see a future of more sustainable operations.

“We know it is important to our customers that we operate as sustainably as possible – our carbon offsetting programme has been positively received by our customers and we have now offset more than nine million passenger journeys – but we are clear this is an interim solution until new technologies become available and we can see more clearly than ever a future that is not exclusively reliant on jet fuel.”

Jeffrey Engler, CEO of Wright Electric, also commented: “Wright Electric is dedicated to bringing low-emissions 186-seat electric plane systems to market. Wright Electric’s mission is to make commercial aviation greener, and our megawatt engine program is the next step in making our mission a reality.”