An electric aviation company Ampaire has secured the launch order from the air mobility firm WingTips for 25 of its low-emission, nine-seat Eco Caravan aircrafts in a deal that anticipates a huge follow-on deal for up to 225 aircrafts. The initial deposit-backed order covers five Eco Caravan aircrafts, plus an option for an additional 20. Both the companies anticipate a requirement for another 175 Eco Caravans as WingTips expands nationwide, plus 50 examples of Ampaire’s follow-on 19-seat Eco Otter aircraft.
WingTips intends to use these new aircraft on regional routes of 100 to 400 statute miles, flying mainly from convenient general aviation airports. The company uses artificial intelligence to offer individual seats to on-demand charter passengers and advanced floating fleet algorithms to optimize fleet usage. The company also plans to offer scheduled service on higher volume routes.
Ampaire’s first commercial product, the Eco Caravan, is a Cessna Grand Caravan upgraded with a hybrid-electric propulsion system that retains the range and payload characteristics of the current Grand Caravan. The Eco Caravan can carry up to eleven passengers or 2,500 pounds of cargo. And it will do so on routes of over 1,100 nautical miles (1,265 miles).
According to the company, the upgraded Eco Caravan offers game-changing fuel savings over the original aircraft of up to 70% on short-hop routes and over 50% on long-haul flights while still carrying nine passengers or cargo. The aircraft can achieve an emissions reduction of up to 90% if using sustainable aviation fuel. The Eco Caravan is capable of operating from airports without electric charging infrastructure.
Ampaire conducted the first Eco Caravan engine runs with a preliminary drivetrain configuration in April 2022 and plans to fly the aircraft in the second half of the year. The company is working with the FAA to achieve supplemental type certificate approval in 2024.
meta: Ampaire has secured a firm order backed by deposits for five of its low-emission, nine-seat Eco Caravan aircraft, plus an option for an additional 20.