Monte Inks agreement for electric hybrid aircraft up to 50 amps

Hybrid-electric aviation company Ampaire today announced that finance company, Monte Aircraft Leasing Limited, is ordering up to 50 Eco Caravans. Monte is a UK-based company that says its sole purpose is to fund sustainable regional aviation technologies so it can support the aviation industry’s transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

It provides financing and leasing solutions for zero emission technology to regional aircraft operators. It also means helping aircraft operators modernize fleets with solutions such as electric, hybrid or hydrogen propulsion technologies as they develop. It says its goal is to become the first carbon-neutral aircraft leasing company by 2027.

In this agreement with Ampaire, Monte has placed a firm order for 25 Eco Caravans, with an option to purchase another 25. Ampaire’s Eco Caravan is a hybrid-electric upgrade of the Cessna Grand Caravan.

The aircraft marks the “starting point of a revolution in air travel”, bringing many benefits, Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker said in a statement.

“This lowers the cost per available seat mile at the driving range, which benefits operators and their passengers. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the aircraft,” Noertker said. “Propulsion technology is scalable , and we intend to move quickly into larger regional aircraft and even into the single-aisle jet market over time.”

According to Ampaire, the Eco Caravan can reduce fuel and emissions by up to 70% on shorter trips and 50% on longer ones without sacrificing people space, cargo or overall range. Additionally, the company said the aircraft could reduce operating costs by 24 and 40 percent compared to the unmodified Cessna Grand Caravan. Additionally, Ampaire noted that because the Eco Caravan can recharge its batteries in-flight, its selection of airports it can fly into isn’t limited to those with ground-based charging capabilities.

“Monte is looking to build a fleet of low-emission, zero-emission aircraft to lease or finance for regional aircraft operators around the world,” said Monte’s chief investment officer, Timothy Eyre.

Last year, Monte signed a cooperation agreement with Tecnam Aircraft Limited to provide tailor-made financing and leasing solutions to customers of Tecnam’s P-Volt electric aircraft. Eyre called Ampaire “the leading provider of hybrid-electric technology” and said: “its Eco Caravan will be very attractive to a segment of our operators, thanks to its wide performance envelope and its ability to operate without ground-based charging infrastructure. if necessary”.

Ampair soon to be certified

Ampaire said the Eco Caravan will make its first flight later this year. The nine-passenger aircraft is currently undergoing ground power tests and has entered the certification process with the FAA, with additional type certification for the upgraded aircraft expected in 2024, according to the company.

Last week at NBAA-BACE, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Tamarack Aerospace Group to develop aerodynamic enhancements for Ampaire’s fleet of hybrid electric aircraft. Ampaire will have access to Tamarack’s SMARTWING winglets on all alternative energy variants of the Cessna Caravan 208, de Havilland Twin Otter and Beechcraft King Air.

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