Ampaire, based in Los Angeles, has achieved an order of up to 100 electric hybrid airliners from the personal airline (PAX), of which 50 are an option.
It is expected that airplanes will start up in a pilot test in the California special section before PAX plans to expand its business.
– The pre-production prototype Ampaires Electric EEL is in the air and works very well. We hope that the operators can participate in the pleasure of flying electrically, says CEO Kevin Noertker of Ampaire in a press release.
Ampaire has invested in a step-by-step model, where they initially started converting the existing Cessna 337 aircraft into hybrid aircraft, which can be powered by a battery or the traditional aircraft engine.
The company also has a new model on the board called Ampaire Tailwind. Here is a whole electrical aircraft that they believe should be enough to fly from California to Hawaii.
It will compete with the private car
The PAX company that ordered the aircraft is a company that connects customers with charter aircraft operators, a sort of Uber air solution. The company believes that the new hybrid aircraft will allow it to offer flights up to a price equivalent to one dollar per seat per US mile.
This corresponds to just over 5 NOK per kilometer with the exchange rate of the current dollar.
– At this level of prices, PAX flights on regional trips will be a realistic alternative to driving, says PAX chief Mike Azzarello in an interview with Aviation International.
Although the business company Ampaire is in California, the company has a small piece of Norway.
Ampaire was one of the ten selected entrepreneurial companies that were chosen among applicants from around the world to arrive in Norway in the fall of last year to participate in the Techstars Energy accelerator program.
Through the Techstars Energy program, they joined the Kongsberg, Equinor and McKinsey group and worked intensively on an acceleration program.
– It's incredibly exciting to follow Ampair's impressive progress. From the first time I met Ampaire in New Orleans in 2017, the team has not stopped impressing. I am pretty sure that it does not stop, and I am looking forward to electrically pushing Ampaire one day, says Audun Abelsnes, director of Techstars Energy.
Read more: The Global Entrepreneur Rush took over the Equinor offices
A race against the goal line
E24 has mentioned several of the initiatives that are being carried out around the electrification of aviation.
Although few people believe that we will see an electrification of large jets until they have spent at least ten years, industry operators do not have so many years thinking that there will be less traffic.
Last year, Avinor received an electric fly that they bought for test flights, while Norwegian OSM Aviation recently made an order for 60 electric aircraft to American Bye Aerospace.
Elfly AS, based in Bergen, has made orders for 18 aircraft of the same manufacturer and during the Paris fair, Widerøe was also present.
The Norwegian airline is currently on an electric flight with the goal of being able to replace the current propeller plane in about 10 years with electric aircraft.
Ampaire does not save money on the company's website. There they write that "while others are in the development phase, we are already in the air," and at the same time claim they will obtain the certification of their aircraft "years before the competition."
Ampaire has the objective of obtaining the EEL electric aircraft certification in 2021, but then it is a hybrid aircraft.
On the other hand, the competitor Bye Aerospace, Norway OSM and Elfly have ordered, claim that they have the objective of obtaining the first fully-certified airship certified by the Aviation Authority American Civil FAA and OSM so that its first aircraft is delivered towards the end of 2021.
Anyone who can finally be named with the first certified and approved airship in the world will show time.