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Home » Aviation Fuel, Business News/Analysis, Feedstocks, Forestry/Wood, Funding/Financing/Investing, Norway, R & D Focus, Slovenia

Norway Sets Ambition for All-Electric Short-Haul Flights by 2040 as Aerospace Majors Announce Hybrid-Electric Venture

Submitted by on February 5, 2018 – 6:39 pmNo Comment

(GreenAir Online) By 2040, all short-haul flights within Norway and neighbouring countries lasting up to one-and-a-half hours should be operated by electric aircraft, forecasts Norwegian airport operator Avinor. In the transition to all-electric aircraft operations, the country, which aims to be the world’s first to switch to electric air transport, will ramp up use of sustainable aviation fuels and hopes to have a small electric plane with 19 seats operating on a commercial route starting in 2025. Over the past year, a number of electric or hybrid-electric commercial aircraft projects have hit the headlines, the latest an announcement by Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce that they are to collaborate on designing a demonstrator hybrid-electric regional aircraft that is anticipated to fly in 2020.

Before the introduction of electric aircraft passenger flights, biofuels would be part of the solution, he (Norway’s climate and environment minister, Vidar Helgesen) said, adding: “We have an escalation plan for biofuels, which we believe provides a strong signal to the market. Investment decisions are now being made on the production of biofuels in Norway, based on domestic raw wood material, which will make the biofuel more sustainable as an energy source for airplanes.”

As a first step, Avinor and the Norwegian Air Sports Federation have ordered an Alpha Electro G2electric two-seater aircraft from Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, claimed to be the first of its kind to be approved for commercial series production. It has a range of 130km and can remain airborne for around an hour per charging. The aircraft is expected to be delivered this coming May.

Meanwhile, Airbus has abandoned a project to develop, with a view to manufacturing, its own two-seater electric aircraft, the E-Fan. Instead, it will work with Siemens and Rolls-Royce on the E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator based on a BAe 146 regional aircraft. It is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign. One of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines will be replaced by a two megawatt electric motor, with provision to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven. Additionally, a Rolls-Royce AE2100 gas turbine will be installed in the rear fuselage to power a two megawatt electrical generator.  READ MORE

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