Hybrid Electric Aircraft Breaks Endurance Records With 12-Hour Flight

Hybrid Electric Aircraft Breaks Endurance Records With 12-Hour Flight

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Hybrid electric aircraft systems company Ampaire made aviation history when its Electric EEL demonstrator completed a first ever 12-hour endurance flight.

According to Interesting Engineering, the Electric EEL aircraft’s 12-hour flight not only bested any previous records for hybrid electric aircraft endurance but also had an impressive 2 hours of fuel and battery reserves still available. The achievement reflects Ampaire’s dedication to developing innovative solutions that deliver unparalleled operating economics and operational flexibility, catering to the evolving needs of the aviation industry.

The Electric EEL has been a key player in advancing high-powered electronics, inverters, motors, and associated systems, and its unwavering performance in various environments underscores its reliability and adaptability, positioning it as a frontrunner in the hybrid electric aircraft sector.

The aircraft’s ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 70 percent highlights the potential for hybrid systems in the air, with its smaller, more efficient combustion engine with an electric assist for takeoff, landing, or rapid acceleration.

The Electric EEL’s unique powertrain configuration, with separate propellers for electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains, enables regenerative air braking which not only enhances efficiency but also allows for energy recovery during deceleration.

When it comes to the next generation, Ampaire reportedly envisions a combined hybrid engine system to power both the rear and nose propellers, an advancement that will not only enable regenerative air braking but also facilitate in-flight charging of the battery using the gasoline engine.

Despite still being in the demonstration phase, the aircraft has already proven its worth by burning significantly less fuel than traditional aircraft and reducing maintenance by an estimated 25-50 percent. Furthermore, with the latest endurance record, Ampaire’s hybrid electric aircraft is expected to play a crucial role in addressing the challenges of range and endurance in the aviation industry, offering a potential transitional step towards a more sustainable future.