America’s Biggest Public Charter Carrier Orders More Than 300 Hybrid-Electric Aircraft

The ES-30 is one of the three aircraft models selected by JSX for a hefty order 8 photos
Photo: Heart Aerospace
The Era AircraftThe ES-30 AircraftElectra's STOL for JSXHeart Aerospace's Aircraft for JSXJSX's Hybrid-Electric Route MapEra AircraftAura Aero's Aircraft for JSX
US air carrier JSX, known as the largest public charter jet service in the country, is writing history with an unprecedented order for 332 new-generation hybrid-electric aircraft from three different international manufacturers.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us the importance of widely accessible, fast, reliable air transport and emphasized the lack of a proper air mobility network across small communities in the US. JSX, which was founded in 2016, has already confirmed its innovative status in the industry as a highly-rated public charter air service and the only five-star premium regional air carrier in the world. Now, it's taking things to the next level with an impressive commitment to new-generation aircraft with hybrid-electric propulsion.

JSX has selected three manufacturers – the US-based Electra, the Swedish Heart Aerospace, and the French Aura Aero. Based on the Letters of Intent signed with each of the three, JSX will acquire up to 82 Electra eSTOL aircraft (32 firm orders and 50 options), 150 Era aircraft (50 firm and 100 options), and up to 100 ES-30 aircraft (50 firm orders and 50 options).

These three aircraft models are meant to help the air carrier not only expand its service toward small communities by opening new flight options at more than 2,000 airports across the country but also lower the overall costs significantly, which will also help increase accessibility.

Electra's aircraft is a nine-seat eSTOL (electric short takeoff and landing) equipped with distributed electric propulsion and a turbine-powered generator that drives the eight electric motors. Unlike eVTOLs, this type of aircraft has the ability to take off and land within 150 feet at slow speed. In other words, it doesn't require dedicated ground infrastructure. The Electra model can also recharge its batteries in flight and promises a range of up to 500 miles (804 km).

Aura Aero took the lion's share in this historic deal, with 150 units to be acquired by JSX. And we're not talking about a compact eVTOL, but a 19-seat aircraft. Era (Electric Regional Aircraft) is an innovative concept boasting a uniquely sustainable cabin that is 100% bio-based, recycled, and recyclable. Performance-wise, it can cover up to 215 nautical miles (247 miles/400 km) and fly at a top speed of 300 knots (345 mph/555 kph).

As its name suggests, the Swedish ES-30 takes an even bolder approach with a 30-seat configuration. The earliest version available for commercial service will be able to ensure a 200 km (124 miles) range on pure battery-electric propulsion. The hybrid-electric version will effectively double the range with the help of hybrid turbo-generators.

The only bad news about this historic commitment is that we still need to wait a few years. The first of these new low-emission aircraft are expected to be delivered and start operating in 2028, which means that JSX will be able to start operating its innovative fleet by the end of this decade.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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