After SAS recently sold out their tickets for their first fully-electric flight, I received many questions about the Heart Aerospace ES-30, which is the plane that will be used to operate them. Even though the plane is not fully built yet, it is under full-thrust development and scheduled to enter operations in 2028.
But what does it mean to have a fully electric airplane? Is the technology ready yet? What are some of the constraints? How has Heart Aerospace tackled some of the challenges while developing the project?
Let’s have a deep dive!
Heart Aerospace ES-30
What is Heart Aerospace?
Heart Aerospace is a Sweden-based company that is focused on advancing electric aviation. Heart Aerospace aims to create a fast, affordable, and sustainable means of traveling regionally by making electric flight a reality. The company was part of the Y Combinator startup accelerator and received backing from various investors.
What happened to the ES-19?
Back in 2018, Heart Aerospace started the ES-19 project with a team of engineers and entrepreneurs in Sweden. The goal was to develop a 19-seat electric aircraft that would be more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional aircraft.
The project made significant progress in the early years, to the point the aircraft’s design was finalized, and a prototype was built and tested. In 2021, United Airlines placed an order for 200 ES-19s. They even published a sub-scale first-flight video.
In 2022, Heart Aerospace announced that it was abandoning the ES-19 project in favor of a new 30-seat aircraft called the ES-30. The company said the ES-30 would be more efficient and have a longer range than the ES-19.
The end of the ES-19 project was a setback for the development of electric aviation. However, the ES-30 project is still underway, and Heart Aerospace has said it is confident that the aircraft will succeed. Some of the reasons why the ES-19 project was abandoned were:
- The ES-19 was designed to have a range of 400 nautical miles, but this was found too ambitious for an electric aircraft with a battery pack of the planned size.
- The ES-19 was also designed to be powered by four electric motors, but this was found to be too expensive.
- The COVID-19 pandemic also delayed the development of the ES-19.
ES-30: A New Hybrid Model
The Heart Aerospace ES-30 is a 30-seat electric regional aircraft designed to have a range of up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) and a top speed of 200 knots (370 kilometers per hour). It is expected to enter service in 2028, and have its first flight in 2024.
The ES-30 is powered by four electric motors that are powered by a battery pack. The battery pack is expected to have a capacity of 2,000 kWh. The aircraft is expected to have a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds (5,670 kilograms).
The ES-30 is also designed to be an extremely quiet and efficient aircraft. It is expected to produce zero CO2, NOx, and ultrafine particulate emissions. In addition, the aircraft is expected to be very affordable to operate.
The development of the ES-30 is definitely a huge step forward in the development of electric aviation. The aircraft has the potential to revolutionize regional air travel by providing a quiet, efficient, and affordable alternative to traditional aircraft.
Heart Aerospace has received several orders for the ES-30. In September 2022, Air Canada acquired a CA$5 million equity stake in Heart as part of a purchase agreement for 30 ES-30 aircraft (under development at the time of signing), which are expected to enter service in 2028.
United Airlines, Sounds Air, and Mesa Airlines reconfirmed their interest in the ES-30. Heart Aerospace also has letters of intent from Braathens Regional Airlines, Icelandair, and SAS for a total of 96 aircraft and an additional 40 units for lessor Rockton.
- Maximum takeoff weight: 12,500 pounds (5,670 kilograms)
- Range: 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers)
- Top speed: 200 knots (370 kilometers per hour)
- Passengers: 30
- Powerplant: Four electric motors
- Battery pack: 2,000 kWh
- Emissions: Zero CO2, NOx, and ultrafine particulates
- Cost: Expected to be comparable to larger turboprop aircraft
- First flight: 2024
- Entry into service: 2028
Wrap-up: Is The ES-30 Good?
The Heart Aerospace ES-30 is a promising new aircraft that has the potential to revolutionize regional air travel. The aircraft is quiet, efficient, and affordable, and it has the potential to reduce emissions and noise pollution.
I’m really hopeful that this project will be successful. First, I feel proud about Heart Aerospace being a Swedish company. But most importantly, the ES-30 could pave the way for a new generation of electric aircraft.
Would you fly on an ES-30 soon? Let me know your thoughts below or via Instagram.