3 FEBRUARY 2020
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A programme between easyJet and its partner Wright Electric to develop a viable commercial electric aircraft moved forward last week after the US manufacturer unveiled design concepts for a 186-seater and set out a timeline for testing.
EasyJet called it “an important milestone”. Wright also announced it was working with BAE Systems to accelerate the new technology for the aircraft, which has been named Wright 1.
In a technical note, Wright said it was engineering electrical systems at the megawatt scale which would be necessary for commercial flight for Wright 1. It is building a 1.5 MW electric motor and inverter at 3 kilovolts.
The company said it was in discussions with BAE Systems relating to flight controls and energy management systems and planned ground tests of its motor in 2021, flight tests in 2023 and entry into service in 2030.
EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We know it is important to our customers that we operate as sustainably as possible – our carbon offsetting programme has been positively received and we have offset more than 9m passenger journeys,
“But we are clear this is an interim solution until new technologies become available and we can now see more clearly than ever a future that is not exclusively reliable on jet fuel.”
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