Ampaire, an electric aviation company, announced today a letter of intent to upgrade Conecta’s Grand Caravans to Ampaire Eco Caravans – the core of which is the AMP-H570 hybrid-electric powertrain and battery pack. The regional airline is a subsidiary of Azul, Brazil’s volume passenger carrier.
The Azul Conecta order Ampaire says, follows the first flight of the Eco Caravan in November 2022 and the announcement days later of a USD9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to help Ampaire advance systems so that they are ready for FAA certification and series production.
Azul Conecta reports that it serves 84 destinations within Brazil with a fleet of 27 Caravans. The Eco Caravan it says will meet the regional carrier’s objectives of reducing operating costs by 25 percent or more while advancing the carrier’s sustainability objectives and seamlessly integrating into its current operations.
According to the press release:
“The AMP-H570 integrates a combustion engine with an electric drivetrain. The Eco Caravan reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70 percent. Emissions are near zero when using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The cost of operation is reduced 25 percent or more depending on route structure. Cost per available seat mile is near that of driving, helping airlines manage costs and benefiting passengers.
“The hybrid-electric aircraft preserves the range/payload capability of the Cessna Grand Caravan, carrying upwards of nine passengers or more than 2,500 pounds of cargo. Maximum range is over 1,100 miles, exceeding that of the Grand Caravan. While Azul Conecta will develop charging stations, the Eco Caravan can operate independently of charging infrastructure where necessary, providing all of the flexibility of today’s aircraft.
“Ampaire is working with the FAA to certify the Eco Caravan in 2024 under a supplemental type certificate (STC). The Ampaire approach differs from others in that it does not require a full aircraft certification, which can be time consuming and very expensive. Ampaire will work with Azul Conecta’s assistance to achieve additional certification from Brazil’s ANAC.”
For more information