Lindbergh Eyes Hybrid Electric Ocean Crossing
Erik Lindbergh hopes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s historic first solo transatlantic flight in 2027, this time by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a hybrid electric aircraft.
“We have to do stuff like that” to advance humanity, Lindbergh told NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen during an EBACE Connect opening keynote conversation May 18. “I think in six years we can do something extraordinary.”
An aviator himself, Lindbergh retraced his famed grandfather Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 solo flight from New York to Paris in 2002 to raise funds for the XPrize Foundation. He currently serves on the XPrize board of trustees and as chairman of the Chicago-based Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. The XPrize and Lindbergh foundations have teamed on the ForeverFlight initiative to advance zero-carbon fuels for aviation.
“We need to look at everywhere we can gain efficiency and aviation is really good at doing that,” Lindbergh said. “Utilizing new fuels—sustainable aviation fuel, biofuels and potentially hydrogen and other alternative fuels like ammonia fuels—can be possible. We absolutely need to invest in those technologies so we can use them in the existing fleets we have.”
In 2017, Lindbergh co-founded VerdeGo Aero, developer of hybrid-electric powertrain technology for aircraft. VerdeGo Aero and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Jaunt Air Mobility signed an MOU in December 2020 to fit the Jaunt Journey air taxi with VerdeGo’s hybrid-electric diesel generator system.
Lindbergh, who spoke with Bolen at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, also serves on the board of VeriJet, a Florida company that has launched a short-haul, point-to-point charter service using the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.
“Aviation has never lived up to the promise of short- to middle-distance charter and transportation like it’s going to in the next few years,” said Lindbergh. “It’s really going to change with the advent of electric, vertical takeoff capability. We are going to see small aircraft with multi-mission roles that are really going to fill that gap between the charter operators who are flying from New York to Seattle, for example, and then [are] able to fly you to Mercer Island in a small urban air mobility vehicle. That’s a huge change and it’s coming very, very quickly.”