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Fri, Oct 28, 2022

Ampaire Receives Order for up to Fifty Eco Caravans

Hybrid-Electric Workhorse on Track for 2024 Certification

Ampaire, the Los Angeles-based designer and manufacturer of hybrid-electric aeronautical wizardry, has received a firm order for 25 of the company’s Eco Caravans from MONTE, a financier of sustainable regional aviation technologies. The agreement includes an option for an additional 25 Eco Caravans, and codifies the parties’ Preferred Partner relationship.

The nine-passenger Eco Caravan, which has undergone ground power tests and is slated to fly before the end of 2022, is the first hybrid-electric aircraft to enter into the FAA’s formal certification process. Ampaire expects the agency to issue supplemental type certification for the Eco Caravan in 2024.

In essence, the Eco Caravan is a hybrid-electric-powered iteration of Cessna's 208B Grand Caravan. Ampaire asserts the model will afford operators up to seventy-percent reductions in both fuel consumption and engine-emissions over the legacy turboprop Caravan, while preserving payload capability and extending range. Ampaire further asserts its Eco Caravan is effectively carbon neutral when operated on sustainable aviation fuel, and that the machine’s operating costs are 25 to 40-percent lower than those of the standard Grand Caravan.

MONTE investment director Timothy Eyre states: “MONTE is looking to build a fleet of low-emission and zero-emission aircraft to lease or finance for regional aircraft operators worldwide. Ampaire has emerged as the leading hybrid-electric technology provider. Its Eco Caravan will be very attractive for a segment of our operators, thanks to its wide performance envelope and ability to operate without ground charging infrastructure where necessary.”

Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker adds: “The Eco Caravan is our starting point for a revolution in air travel. It brings cost-per-available-seat-mile down to the range of driving, benefiting operators and their passengers. It dramatically shrinks the aircraft’s carbon footprint. The propulsion technology is scalable and we intend to quickly move toward larger regional aircraft and even the single-aisle jet market over time.”

The electric facet of the Eco Caravan’s hybrid propulsion architecture is to be powered by EP Systems’ EPiC battery pack, the cell technology of which provides an energy density of over 200Wh/kg (Watt-hours per kilogram) at the battery pack level. Under typical usage, the EPiC system is capable of undergoing two-thousand fast-charge cycles between replacements. The complementary internal combustion aspect of the Eco Caravan’s powerplant comprises RED Aircraft’s A03 series engine—a four-stroke, five-hundred-horsepower, V-12, diesel aircraft engine produced by RED Aircraft GmbH of Adenau, Germany.

As Ampaire’s hybrid-electric drive charges in flight, the Eco Caravan requires no ground-charging infrastructure and can operate, ostensibly, across the selfsame remote, backcountry environs to which the legacy Grand Caravan is so eminently suited.

Notwithstanding extensive press releases extolling the company’s vision and technological ascendancy, Ampaire representatives declined to comment on the total number of Eco Caravan orders logged to date.

FMI: www.ampaire.com

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