Ampaire Links With Black & Veatch On Airport Electrification

Ampaire plans to have the hybrid-electric Eco caravan on the market in 2024.
Credit: Ampaire

Hybrid-electric propulsion startup Ampaire has partnered with sustainable infrastructure developer Black & Veatch to electrify airports to support the deployment of advanced air mobility (AAM).

Under their memorandum of understanding, the companies will work to identify opportunities to construct infrastructure for electric aircraft at early-adopter airports in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Ampaire is developing hybrid-electric propulsion retrofits for existing aircraft, beginning with the Cessna Caravan. The collaboration will focus on developing infrastructure that combines renewable-electricity charging and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply at airports. 

“Ampaire is committed to putting zero-emissions aircraft into widespread service by mid-decade,” says Susan Ying, Ampaire senior vice president of global partnerships. “These hybrid-electric aircraft will benefit from the build-out of SAF and electric charging infrastructure, making zero emission possible for meaningful service range.”

The hybrid-electric Eco Caravan is designed to fly nine passengers or equivalent cargo more than 800 mi., with 70% lower fuel burn on short trips, 50% lower on longer trips, and up to 90% less life-cycle CO2 emissions when using SAF to fuel the hybrid system’s turbine engine. Ampaire in April began ground tests of its modified Caravan test aircraft.

The startup is launching a Series B funding round after a planned acquisition by Surf Air Mobility was terminated. Now moving ahead as an independent company, Ampaire is planning to bring the Caravan conversion to market in 2024 and has plans to modify the De Havilland Canada DC-6 Twin Otter.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.