Swedavia’s Malmö Airport prepares for electric aviation with Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 aircraft tests
Swedavia is breaking ground by offering Malmö Airport as a testing ground for Heart Aerospace’s groundbreaking ES-30 electric aircraft. This pioneering project will see a full-scale electric aircraft charging and taxiing model at the airport. Collaborating with Swedavia are Heart Aerospace, airlines BRA and SAS, and Swedish battery developer Northvolt, with the project receiving SEK 20 million (about US$1.85 million) in co-funding from the Swedish innovation authority Vinnova.
Malmö Airport is now a key player in the pursuit of fossil-free aviation. As the host for ES-30 electric aircraft testing activities, the airport will continue enhancing its aircraft charging infrastructure. The foundation for this work is the ELISE project, launched in the spring of 2018 to spearhead Sweden’s electric aviation advances through international positioning, societal need assessment, and technology inventory.
“Malmö Airport is perfectly positioned, with its proximity to mainland Europe, its status as southern Sweden’s largest airport, and its focus on international cooperation. These factors offer exciting prospects for electric aviation and make the airport an ideal testing ground for Swedish electric aviation’s continued development,” asserts Karin Öhrström, airport director at Malmö Airport. “Malmö Airport is perfectly positioned, with its proximity to mainland Europe, its status as southern Sweden’s largest airport, and its focus on international cooperation. These factors offer exciting prospects for electric aviation and make the airport an ideal testing ground for Swedish electric aviation’s continued development,” asserts Karin Öhrström, airport director at Malmö Airport.
The second phase of the ELISE project aimed to create a Swedish-made electric aircraft, leading to the design of the ES-19 regional electric aircraft with 19 seats. The third phase aims to create and test a full-scale model of Heart Aerospace’s new ES-30 electric aircraft, a 30-seater equipped with a battery pack that can be charged and tested at Malmö Airport.
“We’re thrilled to contribute our combined knowledge and skills in electric and battery-powered aircraft. Battery-powered aircraft are instrumental in energy transition, and eventually, all Swedavia’s airports will facilitate the handling of electric aircraft.It’s crucial that we can provide a platform for taxiing and charging tests, which we’ll conduct with our partners,” says John Nilsson, strategic planning manager for electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft at Swedavia. “We’re thrilled to contribute our combined knowledge and skills in electric and battery-powered aircraft. Battery-powered aircraft are instrumental in energy transition, and eventually, all of Swedavia’s airports will facilitate the handling of electric aircraft. It’s crucial that we can provide a platform for taxiing and charging tests, which we’ll conduct with our partners,” says John Nilsson, strategic planning manager for electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft at Swedavia.
Swedavia is championing the aviation industry’s energy transition through diverse initiatives, particularly developing electric and, eventually, hydrogen-fuelled aircraft. There are charging stations for electric aircraft at Visby Airport and Åre Östersund Airport, among others. Swedavia has previously participated in a case study using electric aircraft for a route between Umeå Airport and Åre Östersund Airport and participated in the MODELflyg project, focused on developing a simulation model for handling an increase in electric aviation. Additionally, Swedavia was part of the Fossil-Free Aviation in Northern Sweden project.
What is Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 electric aircraft, and how does it work?
Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 electric aircraft is a regional aircraft designed to operate on short-haul flights. It is a 30-seat aircraft that is powered by electric motors and batteries. The aircraft is designed to be environmentally friendly, with zero emissions during flight, and is expected to be significantly quieter than conventional aircraft.
The ES-30 electric aircraft is expected to revolutionize the aviation industry by providing a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional aircraft. The aircraft promises to significantly reduce emissions and noise pollution, making it ideal for use in urban areas and other environmentally sensitive locations. The aircraft may also be more cost-effective than traditional aircraft due to its lower maintenance and fuel costs.
Malmö Airport’s decision to make itself available as a test arena for Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 electric aircraft is a significant step forward in the development of electric aviation. The airport’s location in southern Sweden makes it ideal for testing the aircraft due to its proximity to Heart Aerospace’s headquarters in Gothenburg. The airport’s commitment to electric aviation is also a positive sign for the industry, as it shows growing interest in sustainable aviation solutions.
ES-30 Tech Specs
- Capacity: 30 passengers (typical)
- 200 km all-electric
- 400 km electric+hybrid
- 800 km electric+hybrid 25pax
- Propulsion: 4 electric motors
- Energy source
- Batteries (primary)
- Reserve-Hybrid Turbogenerators
- Max altitude: 20,000 ft
- Runway length: 1,100 m
- Turnaround time: 30 min (fast charge)
- Enter into service: 2028
Heart Aerospace’s Electric Dreams: Soaring Beyond the Horizon
Fast Forward to the Late 2020s
Imagine this: a 200 km journey, purely powered by electricity. Or even a 400 km trip supported by hybrid technology.
Speeding Ahead to Mid-2030s
Now, let’s push it further. How about a 300 km electric adventure? Or perhaps a 500 km hybrid expedition?
Welcome to the Late 2030s
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, envision a 400 km electric odyssey. Or a 600 km hybrid voyage. The future of aviation is truly electrifying!
Unveiling the Green Potential of Heart Aerospace’s ES-30 Aircraft
Embracing Zero Emissions:
Imagine an airport free of pollutants and aircraft that leave no carbon footprint. The ES-30 offers this precisely, with zero emissions on short routes under 200 km and longer routes as battery technology advances.
Significantly Lower Emissions:
What if we could halve the emissions of turboprops on longer journeys? The ES-30 enables more than 50% emission reduction per seat compared to 50-seater turboprops. And when paired with SAF (sustainable aircraft fuel), the aircraft’s green advantage skyrockets to over 90%.
Quiet as a Whisper:
Imagine a tranquil takeoff and a serene landing without disturbance to the community. The ES-30’s electric motors promise this low-noise experience, creating a peaceful atmosphere in the air and on the ground.
How Can the ES-30 Boost Profitability?
The cost of electricity is generally lower than the cost of jet fuel. Couple that with the minimal maintenance requirements of electric motors, and you have a more cost-efficient aircraft for shorter routes.
Redefining Operating Expenses:
Heart Aerospace predicts the ES-30 could deliver a cash operating cost per seat matching a 50-seater turboprop. Even better, the cost per trip significantly surpasses the current standards.
Improving Economics in the Long Run:
As battery technology evolves, Heart Aerospace projects longer electric flights paired with extended battery life, dwindling battery maintenance costs, and a future with decreasing electricity prices.
The Rising Tide of Conventional Aircraft Expenses:
On the flip side, consider the increasing fossil fuel costs, the impending environmental penalties, and the creeping engine maintenance costs. That’s why aviation is moving toward new technologies for a sustainable future.
What are the key benefits of electric aviation?
Electric aviation can potentially reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality significantly. Traditional aircraft rely on fossil fuels, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. On the other hand, electric aircraft use electric motors powered by batteries or fuel cells, producing zero emissions during flight.
Electric aviation can also reduce noise pollution, a significant concern for communities near airports. Electric motors are much quieter than traditional jet engines, which can reduce noise levels by up to 50%. This can lead to a more pleasant living environment for nearby residents and potentially reduce the need for noise abatement procedures.
Finally, electric aviation can help to drive innovation and technological advancements in the aviation industry. Electric aircraft development requires new technologies and materials, which can lead to advancements in other areas of aviation, such as air traffic control, airport infrastructure, and aircraft design. This can help to create a more sustainable and efficient aviation industry in the future.
What are the challenges of electric aviation?
One of the biggest challenges of electric aviation is the limited range of electric aircraft. The energy density of batteries is still much lower than that of traditional jet fuel, meaning electric planes can only fly a limited distance before needing to recharge or swap out batteries. This makes electric aviation more suitable for short-haul flights rather than long-haul ones.
Another challenge of electric aviation is the weight of batteries. Batteries are heavy, and the more batteries an electric plane carries, the heavier it becomes. This can limit the aircraft’s payload capacity and reduce its overall efficiency. Researchers are exploring ways to develop lighter and more efficient batteries to overcome this challenge.
The infrastructure required for electric aviation is also a challenge. Electric planes require charging stations and battery swap facilities, which must be installed at airports and other locations. This requires significant investment and coordination between airlines, airports, and other stakeholders. Additionally, the electrical grid needs to handle the increased demand for electricity that electric aviation will bring.
Finally, the cost of electric aviation is currently higher than that of traditional aviation. Electric planes are more expensive to manufacture, and the infrastructure required for electric aviation is also costly. However, as technology advances and economies of scale are achieved, electric aviation costs are expected to decrease over time.
Just the Facts about ELISE 3
- This project has received SEK 20 million (US$1.85 million) in funding from the Swedish innovation authority Vinnova. It is the third phase of the ELISE project, which is aimed at creating better conditions for electric aviation in Sweden.
- The consortium involved in the project consists of Swedavia, Heart Aerospace, Northvolt, BRA and SAS.
- The project’s advisory board members include the Swedish trade organization for regional airports, Sveriges Regionala Flygplatser, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bromma Air Maintenance, the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration.
- The project was launched in the summer of 2023 and is expected to run until spring 2025.
- Malmö Airport will serve as a host for the project’s tests and demonstrations for the taxiing and charging of the ES-30 electric aircraft.
- The electric ES-30 was developed by Heart Aerospace. The aircraft can carry 30 passengers and is expected to be in commercial operation in 2028.
Swedavia is a group that manages 10 airports in Sweden, providing essential travel connectivity. The airport group’s main focus is on satisfied and safe travelers. They are a global leader in creating environmentally friendly airports. Since 2020, all their airports have been fossil-free. In 2022, they made about SEK 4.8 billion and had around 2,400 employees.
About Heart Aerospace
Heart Aerospace is a technology company focused on creating the world’s greenest and most cost-effective transportation. They believe electric air travel will become the standard for regional flights, significantly improving the industry’s sustainability.
They are developing the ES-30, an electric airplane for 30 passengers. It’s powered by electric motors and has a zero-emission range of 200 kilometers. The range extends to 400 kilometers with 30 passengers and up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers, including typical airline reserves.
Investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, EQT Ventures, European Investment Council, Lower Carbon Capital, Mesa Air Group Inc, and United Airlines Ventures. Their headquarters and hangar are at Säve Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden.