“It’s kind of like a plug-in hybrid car,” said Kevin Noertker, the co-founder and chief executive of Ampaire, which used some parts initially designed for automobiles to modify the plane. “We are really riding the coattails of ground electric vehicles here.” Aerospace giants and startups are developing electric aircraft that can navigate autonomously and take off and land vertically, and potentially shuttle thousands of commuters around cities and suburbs in coming decades. Uber Technologies Inc. even plans to launch a transportation service using electric, vertical-takeoff aircraft in 2023. But other entrepreneurs believe retrofitting existing airplanes could help electric aviation take flight even sooner. Ampaire said its planes could be ready for customers by the end of 2021. Note: Graphic shows a possible future production version Source: Ampaire (information and artist rendering) Ampaire and others are betting that regulators will approve modified planes more quickly than new electric aircraft, and that retrofitted planes will still offer significant savings on fuel and maintenance for small airlines and charter companies. The first retrofitted aircraft, which could be either hybrid or fully electric, will likely carry fewer than 20 passengers and fly between 100 and 200 miles on a single charge. That is […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here