The EasyJet airline and the manufacturer Airbus work together for the arrival of the electric or hybrid aircraft. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to analyze the opportunities and challenges that this type of aircraft can have that will undoubtedly be more sustainable than the current ones.
The project that unites both companies seeks to apply the requirements that can be presented by electric or hybrid airplanes that make short-haul flights across Europe, and thus create a first base to shape the airplanes of the future.
Currently, EasyJet collaborates with Wright Electric to develop a 180-seater commercial aircraft capable of traveling 500 kilometers in 2027.”
For the first time, our industry can imagine a future that does not depend entirely on jet fuel, thereby reducing its associated CO2 emissions and where our noise footprint is reduced for all flights,” says EasyJet executive director Johan Lundgren.
Anyway, there is a company that perhaps has been advanced in the airline’s career with the first electric plane. The Canadian Harbor Air, the world’s largest seaplane airline, together with MagniX, a Redmond company, conducted tests for commercial electric seaplanes a few months ago. And they were a success.
The eBeayer aircraft successfully completed its first flight, which is now aimed at entering operations in 2022.This aircraft is a modified version of the legendary DCH-2 Beaver de Havilland 1946 seaplane, which is the first of its kind to have an electric motor and a battery pack inside. According to those responsible, the flight was short but successful, according to the services currently offered by the airline.
Harbor Air is an airline that makes commercial flights between the islands of Vancouver and Victoria, and could be the first commercial airline to operate electric airplanes.
According to the Canadian company, another advantage is that this type of modified aircraft needs less maintenance and a battery recharge infrastructure that is cheaper than a fuel supply system. This without considering the reduction of noise and a lower emission of pollutants.
The company estimates that it will be certified during 2020, so that at the end of that year and during 2021 the necessary tests will be carried out in order to start with the service of the whole fleet of electric aircrafts in 2022.
On the other hand, Wright Electric, a company that collaborates with EasyJet, is making great strides to achieve the power needed to take off a commercial airplane with electric motors. It began by working on two-seater aircraft and is now developing a propulsion system four times as powerful for a nine-seater plane.
Airbus is making great strides in two- to four-seater airplanes or air taxis, even successfully testing them. However, hardly any electric prototypes have been made for commercial aviation. It is estimated that this sector will not be 100% electric until at least 2030.
For the time being, the European multinational has developed a hybrid plane (electric-petrol), the E Fan X, which has a capacity for 90 people, in collaboration with Siemens and Rolls Royce.
In any case, for now the companies are also focusing their efforts on reducing fuel consumption and neutralizing the emissions generated. EasyJet, for example, will activate carbon offset mechanisms through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, involving forestry and renewable energy.
IAG has also announced its commitment to generate “net CO2 emissions” by 2050. To this end, its airlines are going to start a series of initiatives that seek to neutralize the emissions generated by their activity due to the use of fossil fuels. One of the measures involves renewing its fleet with a more modern one that consumes 25% less.