Britain’s first electric-powered passenger plane will be launched in just over two years under plans to cut aircraft emissions. It will be announced today that a hybrid-electric aircraft will be created by fitting an existing nine-seater plane with the latest battery technology. The project, which is funded through a £9 million government and industry grant, will allow the converted Britten-Norman Islander to operate under 100 percent electric power for short flights. The light aircraft’s conventional engine will then kick in as a “range extender” to operate longer routes. The aircraft is likely to be tested initially by Loganair, the regional airline that operates services across the Scottish islands, including the world’s shortest scheduled flight: the 1.7-mile hop between Westray and Papa Westray in Orkney. The Project Fresson programme is expected to take two and a half years, with a fully developed prototype taking to the skies by mid-2022. It would be the first fully electric passenger-carrying plane in the UK and one of only a small number being developed across the world.
Times 19th Nov 2019 read more »