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Article from BTNews 8 NOVEMBER 2021

Aircraft launched at COP26

A surprise announcement at Glasgow’s COP26 summit last Friday was the resurrection of the out of production BAe 146 airliner in all electric form.

Wright Electric, based in Albany, New York State (USA), has launched a zero-emissions aircraft, Wright Spirit, for the commercial aviation market.

The development programme will begin flight tests with one all-electric propulsor in 2023 ahead of the introduction of the full-electric aircraft by 2026.  It will operate 60-minute flights, making “a significant impact on global emissions by targeting this high-demand market segment,” said Jeff Engler, CEO, Wright Electric.

By focusing on one-hour flights, Engler says that it addresses the world’s busiest city pairs, such as Seoul – Jeju (world’s busiest route, 14m passengers annually), London – Paris, Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo, and San Francisco – Los Angeles. “We can make a significant impact on global emissions by targeting this high-demand segment of the market,” says Engler.

The path was set in early 2020 with Wright’s announcement and development of their megawatt propulsion system for an all-electric commercial aircraft. Throughout the last two years, the company has been proving key components of the system including a high-efficiency, high-power density inverter and a 2mw (2,700 hp) motor. The existing hydrocarbon-based propulsion system will be replaced with Wright’s all-electric, emissions-free propulsion system.


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