This Hybrid Electric Airplane Will Use First-of-Its-Kind Battery, Targets 500-Mile Range

Heart Aerospace ES-30 8 photos
Photo: Heart Aerospace
Rendering of ES-30 Air CanadaRendering of ES-30ES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric AircraftES-30 Electric Aircraft
I must admit I’ve gotten used to the thought of electric cars being a constant presence in our lives pretty fast. I’m not an owner of one yet, but since I live over in Europe, I’ll soon have to make the switch, and I’ll probably get used to that as well. I wonder how long it will take me to get used to the idea of an electric aircraft…
Airlines and companies in the aviation business are actively trying to cut down their fuel consumption. Most of them focus on adapting machinery to run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), but that still means burning harmful stuff. Others, like the Swedes from Heart Aerospace, are going for hybrid electric powertrains for their aircraft.

Heart is presently working on an airplane called ES-30. It’s a machine meant to serve regional routes, meaning relatively short distances, and that makes it ideal for use of electricity instead of fuel.

The airplane is a four-propeller machine, with each spun by means of an equal number of electric motors. They will get their juice from both batteries and hybrid turbogenerators.

The plane is not scheduled for first flight in the service of an airline before 2028, but in the aviation industry, five years is a very short period of time, so work on getting it ready is in full swing.

ES\-30 Electric Aircraft
Photo: Heart Aerospace
The most recent development on the ES-30 involves the plane’s battery. Heart said at the end of last week the Brits from BAE Systems will be tasked with coming up with this piece of hardware. No exact details on the tech were provided, other than the fact it will “be the first-of-its-kind to be integrated into an electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) regional aircraft.”

We do know what it’s supposed to deliver, though. You see, Heart is making the ES-30 to be scalable, so the range it’s capable of achieving will increase gradually. At first, it will be capable of going for as much as 124 miles (200 km) in electric mode, but that will gradually increase until it reaches 248 miles in the late 2030s.

The trick is the plane is not fully electric. At least its first iterations will allow it to run on electricity for at most 124 miles, but the range will actually be double that thanks to hybrid turbogenerators.

The ES-30 is not a high-capacity aircraft. Like its name says, it will only be able to carry 30 passengers in standard configuration, but for it to be able to reach longer ranges, that number will, of course, have to be reduced – for a 500-mile (800 km) range in both electric and hybrid mode, for instance, it will only carry 25 people.

Heart says it already has 230 orders for the airplanes, with more in the pipeline.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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