Air Canada is buying 30 electric-hybrid aircraft under development by Heart Aerospace of Sweden.
The new aircraft, the ES-30, can carry 30 passengers seated three across (in a 2-1 layout ), with a galley and lavatory. Cabin stowage and overhead bins add to the large external baggage and cargo compartment.
Electric motors powered by lithium-ion batteries drive the ES-30, which allows the aircraft to operate with zero emissions and low noise.
The maker says the aircraft will be quieter, have better operational parameters, be more reliable, and have a smaller environmental footprint than conventional turbo-prop aircraft.
The ES-30 will need 30-50 minutes to charge.
The aircraft also includes a reserve-hybrid configuration, consisting of two turbo generators powered by sustainable aviation fuel, called SAF.
The ES-30 uses a reserve-hybrid system to secure reserve energy requirements without cannibalizing battery range. The aircraft can also use this system during cruise on longer flights to complement the electrical power provided by the batteries.
Fully loaded, the ES-30 should have an all-electric, zero-emission range of 200 km. Airlines can extend this to 400 km with power supplemented by the generators, and up to 800 km by cutting the load to 25 passengers.
The new aircraft will allow Air Canada to serve regional and commuter routes more sustainably, providing low-emission connectivity to local communities over the medium-to-long term.
Heart Aerospace expects the ES-30 to enter into service in 2028.
Under the agreement, Air Canada has also acquired a US$5 million equity stake in Heart Aerospace.
Orders for the ES-30 electric aircraft
Heart says previous orders for their ES-19 electric airplane, placed by United Airlines and Mesa Air Group for a total of 200 electric aircraft with an option for an additional 100 planes, are ‘reconfirmed’ for the updated ES-30 design.
Others to update their letters of intent for the E-19 to ‘reflect’ the ES-30 include the Nordic airlines Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), Icelandair and SAS as well as New Zealand’s Sounds Air. Rockton, a Swedish-based lessor, has just signed an LOI with for up to 40 aircraft.
In total, Heart Aerospace has letters of intent for 96 ES-30s.
N.B. Image credit: Heart Aerospace