Ampaire, a manufacturer of electrified aircraft, has received a $9-million grant from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) SCALEUP program, which it will use for the development of FAA-certified hybrid subsystems.
The company is currently using a converted hybrid Cessna 337 Skymaster aircraft—dubbed the ARPA-E Bird—as a test bed for the development of subsystems in the powertrain control, propulsion motor drive and thermal-runaway-protected energy storage system areas. Once these systems are certified, Ampaire will apply them to its new Eco Caravan aircraft, based on the Cessna Grand Caravan.
Ampaire says the Eco Caravan will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70%, and reduce the cost of operation by 25 to 40% depending on the airline route structure.
Ampaire aims to certify the Eco Caravan aircraft in 2024.
“Ampaire has been flying and refining hybrid-electric prototype aircraft since 2019,” said CEO Kevin Noertker. “The next step is to develop a fully-integrated propulsion system, the AMP-H570, that meets strict certification requirements. SCALEUP will be central to supporting this process at Ampaire and contribute to the certification of the nine-passenger Eco Caravan aircraft.”