New technology, new market opportunities: A new aircraft manufacturer is to be established in Gothenburg. Heart Aerospace is focusing on 19 seats and electric engines.
While Airbus wants to fly emission-free with hydrogen-powered aircraft, a start-up in Sweden is preparing to launch an electric aircraft. The Gothenburg-based company Heart Aerospace is developing an aircraft with a range of 400 kilometres (249 miles) for 19 passengers.
The aircraft, called ES-19, is planned to take off for the first time in mid-2024 and be certified in 2026. «Initially, our aircraft will offer point-to-point transport between Scandinavian cities», says Heart Aerospace. The aircraft with four electrically powered propellers, winglets and a T-tail will only need 750 metres (2460 ft) of runway for take-off and landing.
On September 23, Heart Aerospace presented its propulsion system, with which the company is already conducting ground tests. The next step is already planned: A model of the ES-19, which is one-fifth the size of the real aircraft, is scheduled to take off in 2020.
The start-up is financed by investors from Sweden and the United States and is also receiving funding from the European Union. According to Heart Aerospace, its employees have previously worked on 67 different aircraft for different employers. Nigel Pippard, head of technology, has worked for the European aviation authority EASA, the aircraft manufacturers Saab and Gulfstream and the aviation supplier Honeywell, among others.
Demand is there
Heart Aerospace told the magazine Aviation International News that it has already received expressions of interest for 147 aircraft. These come from SAS, Braathens and Wideroe from Scandinavia, Air Greenland, Sounds Air from New Zealand, Pascan Aviation from Canada, Quantum Air from California and City Clipper from the United Kingdom. Apparently there are hopes that the insolvent Swedish airline Braathens will recover financially by 2026.