Heart Aerospace and BAE collaborate on battery design for electric aircraft

Render of a Heart Aerospace electric aircraft showing battery system.
Image Credit: Heart Aerospace

Aerospace and defence company BAE Systems and Heart Aerospace, a Swedish electric airplane maker, have announced a collaboration to define the battery system for Heart’s ES-30 regional electric airplane.  

Powering the eCTOL aircraft

The battery will be the first-of-its-kind to be integrated into an electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) regional aircraft, allowing it to efficiently operate with zero emissions and low noise.  

“Our industry-leading solution builds on decades of expertise delivering technologies and systems needed to progress sustainable transportation,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Heart Aerospace on the innovative battery system for its electric airplane.” 

Above: Battery pack. Photo Credit: Heart Aersopace

The program will leverage more than 25 years of BAE Systems‘ expertise in electrifying large, heavy-duty industrial vehicles. Today, the company has over 15,000 power and propulsion systems operating in service across the globe.

Work on the program will be conducted at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Endicott, New York.  

Sofia Graflund, chief operating officer at Heart Aerospace observed:

“BAE Systems’ extensive experience in developing batteries for heavy-duty ground applications, and their experience in developing safety critical control systems for aerospace, make them an ideal partner in this important next step for the ES-30 and for the aviation industry,”

“We look forward to decarbonizing air travel together,” she added.


What is eCTOL?

eCTOL aircraft are electric-powered airplanes that are designed to take off and land using conventional runways.

They are being developed as a cleaner and more efficient alternative to traditional fossil-fuel-powered aircraft, which produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change.

eCTOL aircraft use electric motors and batteries to power their engines, rather than combustion engines. This allows them to produce zero emissions during flight and significantly reduces their noise levels.

Additionally, eCTOL aircraft have the potential to be more efficient and cost-effective than traditional aircraft, due to the lower cost of electricity compared to aviation fuel and the simpler design of electric motors.

About the ES-30 aircraft

The ES-30 airplane will be powered by four electric motors, and has an all-electric range of 200 kilometers, an extended reserve hybrid range of 400 kilometers with 30 passengers and ability to fly up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers.  

The ES-30 will also have a cost-effective and scalable upgrade path as future battery technology matures.

The battery upgrade roadmap allows for increased usable energy at the same weight, resulting in longer flight durations and expanded route options.  

Heart Aerospace has a total of 230 orders and 100 options for the ES-30, along with letter of intent for an additional 108 airplanes. 

About Heart Aerospace

Heart Aerospace is a Swedish aerospace company that is developing electric aircraft for regional transportation.

The company was founded in 2018 by a team of experienced aerospace engineers and entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to apply electric propulsion technology to aviation.

Recently, Heart Aerospace was selected as a long-term partner for Air New Zealand’s Mission Next Gen Aircraft partnership for the replacement of the New Zealand airline’s Q300 domestic fleet with a more sustainable option from 2030.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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