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Fri, Feb 03, 2023

Aero-TV: Ampaire and Tamarack MOU Announced

Alignment of Brave New Worlds

For purpose of developing upgrades to its family of uniquely innovative aircraft, Ampaire, the Los Angeles-based designer and manufacturer of hybrid-electric aircraft propulsion systems, has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Tamarack Aerospace Group, the Sandpoint, Idaho-based enclave of wizardly aerodynamicists.

The deal will see Tamarack’s Performance SMARTWING technology adapted to Ampaire’s inchoate but promising Eco Caravan and Eco Otter—hybrid-electric-powered iterations of Cessna’s storied 208B Grand Caravan and de Havilland’s robustly reliable DHC-6 Twin Otter.

Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker remarked: “Tamarack’s technology is a great match with Ampaire’s hybrid propulsion system, as both work synergistically to upgrade the performance and economics of the proven aircraft operated by our customers.”

Tamarack founder and CEO Nick Guida concurred with Mr. Noertker’s sentiments, adding: “Tamarack’s Performance SMARTWING technology has demonstrated substantial aerodynamic improvements on multiple platforms including 160 upgraded CitationJets, and our goal aligns closely with Ampaire’s to make every aircraft more efficient and sustainable.”

Ampaire’s Eco Caravan is the first hybrid-electric aircraft to enter into the FAA’s formal certification process. Ampaire expects the agency to bestow supplemental type certification upon the aircraft in 2024. Ampaire’s brass maintains an STC scheme will prove less costly and time-consuming than a full aircraft certification program.

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

The electric facet of the Eco Caravan’s hybrid propulsion architecture is 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. 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.

The Eco Caravan requires no ground-charging infrastructure insomuch as Ampaire’s hybrid-electric drive self-charges in flight. Ergo, the aircraft is ostensibly capable of operating across the selfsame remote, backcountry environs to which the legacy Grand Caravan is so eminently suited.

‍Of the Ampaire/Tamarack MOU, Tamarack Aerospace Group president Jacob Klinginsmith stated: “We focus on aerodynamic improvements and Ampaire focuses on powerplant improvements; and so we’re really excited to be looking at ways that we can work together to bring a huge benefit to the operators.”

Differing from conventional, passive winglets, Tamarack’s Performance SMARTWING technology automatically controls wing bending during turbulence and other inflight events by effectively “turning off the winglets”—thereby alleviating wing-loading. This is accomplished via load-sensors and a camber surface capable of responding to system inputs in fractions of a second. The Active Winglet/load-alleviation system is fully automatic, requires no pilot action, and functions independently of other aircraft systems. What’s more, installation of Tamarack’s Performance SMARTWING requires no aircraft structural reinforcement.

To date, Tamarack’s SMARTWING upgrade has been installed on nearly ten-percent of the world’s Cessna CitationJet fleet, and has proven a boon to private and charter operators alike. The system facilitates increased aircraft range, payload, and takeoff weight while improving ride-quality. Performance SMARTWING retrofits have also been adapted to Cessna’s M2 GEN2 jet, as well as Beechcraft’s King Air 200 and 350 models—the latter two of which have performed superbly, laying claim to two city-pair speed records.

Joint development work comprising analysis of and validation of synergies between Tamarack’s and Ampaire’s proprietary architectures commenced in late 2022.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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