First Electric Commuter Flight
The first electric commuter flights in the UK are being trialled during August 2021 between Exeter and Newquay airports. Last year the project received £2.4M from the Future Flight Challenge to demonstrate hybrid-electric aircraft on regional routes in the South West of the UK.
The aircraft in action at the moment – known as the Electric EEL – is being used to assess the viability of electrifying domestic air travel in the UK, as part of government-backed plans to reduce emissions from aviation.
The 2ZERO (Towards Zero Emissions in Regional Aircraft Operations) programme involves putting in place and testing the infrastructure needed to enable the future of electric planes within existing airport and airline operations. Ampaire – the company leading the consortium on electric aviation – is using the data collected from these test flights to assess the viability of upscaling this technology. They have plans to fully electrify larger aircraft as soon as battery technology makes it possible.
The implications of this project could be enormous for the future of aviation in the UK. Dr Susan Ying, Ampaire’s senior Vice President for global operations, announced “We are developing commercial aircraft now that will begin this revolution in sustainable aviation with service entry planned 2024″.
You can read more about the progress of electric aviation in the UK by visiting the University of Nottingham’s website.