French Company is developing this 19-Seat Electric Aircraft

French Company is developing this 19-Seat Electric Aircraft
Courtesy of Ampaire

In partnership with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M), Ampaire will convert several aircraft to electric propulsion. As part of a memorandum of understanding, the European airline's technical division signed a memorandum on October 19 to assist the Californian start-up with implementing the supplemental type certificate upgrade for their hybrid-electric EcoCaravan conversion of a Cessna Grand Caravan utility aircraft, as well as creating long-term plans to build larger aircraft.

The company announced earlier this year that it would be converting the 19-passenger DHC-6 Twin Otter into a hybrid-electric aircraft called EcoOtter SX. Additionally, AFI KLM E&M will support the company with the training of engineers needed for aircraft conversions around the world, as well as the analysis of operational data and component pooling.

The first nine-seat EcoCaravan of Ampaire will take flight by the end of 2022. According to Ampaire, the EcoCaravan will receive its FTC in 2024, and it will be the first hybrid-electric aircraft to enter FAA certification. There are also plans for all-electric aircraft development, the company says.

During the maiden flight of Ampaire's Electric EEL technology demonstrator in 2019, the company achieved a number of industry firsts. Previously, its EEL market demonstration aircraft flew nonstop from Los Angeles to San Francisco and across the United Kingdom. This year, it flew 1,135 miles between Los Angeles and Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA Air Venture show.

An electric motor, a power inverter unit and batteries are all part of Amaire's three-module electric propulsion system (EPS) that uses the Electric EEL. As a result, a six-seat converted Cessna 337 Skymaster is powered by this system. A Continental IO-550 piston engine acts as the original pusher engine, which is mounted at the rear of the aircraft.

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