easyJet’s partner Wright Electric begins engine development program for 186 seat electric aircraft
· easyJet welcomes this important milestone which is a crucial step on the path to electric commercial aircraft
· Wright Electric announces that it is working with BAE Systems to accelerate the new technology
· Wright Electric has unveiled design concepts for a 186 seater electric plane engine development program this week and set out a timeline for its testing programme
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, today welcomed the announcement by its partner Wright Electric on its engine development program for its flagship 186 seat electric aircraft, named Wright 1.
Wright is engineering electrical systems at the megawatt scale which will be necessary for commercial flight for its 186 seat electric aircraft. It is building a 1.5 MW electric motor and inverter at 3 kilovolts. These components will form the powerplant of Wright’s revolutionary Wright 1 aircraft and move towards aiming to pave the way for a future of zero emissions flight in Europe and worldwide.
Wright Electric is in discussions with BAE Systems relating to flight controls and energy management systems. Wright intends to conduct ground tests of its motor in 2021 and flight tests in 2023. At an event the company held in New York City on January 30, Wright demonstrated a preview of its motor and fan. Wright also announced that it is moving its headquarters to Albany, NY to take advantage of the world-class engineering talent there.
The motor development program is the next step towards building its narrowbody class aircraft. Wright will be simultaneously conducting aerodynamic tests on its fuselage, which will inform the propulsion design. The company expects entry of service of its flagship Wright 1 in 2030. A number of government agencies in the United States are aiding research by providing funding into electric aviation including NASA and Air Force Research Laboratory.