Poll: What is your comfort level with flying a hybrid-electric aircraft on a regional route?
Ampaire has flown a second prototype of its Electric EEL, a Cessna 337 Skymaster modified to hybrid-electric propulsion.
The aircraft will be operated later in 2020 on test routes on Maui, Hawaii. The demonstration flights will be conducted jointly with Hawaiian regional carrier Mokulele Airlines.
The Cessna 337 has a push-pull configuration, with piston engines in the forward and rear fuselage. The second prototype Electric EEL has a 310-hp. (230-kW) Continental IO-550 piston engine in the aft fuselage, but an electric motor replacing the engine in the nose.
After a series of checkout flights, the prototype will be shipped to Hawaii in October. “When the aircraft flies on Maui, it will be the first time an electrically powered aircraft has flown under an FAA ‘market survey’ experimental aircraft certificate in order to gain real-world flight experience,” the startup said.
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