Ampaire pairs with RED Aircraft for V12 hybrid-electric Eco Caravan

Ampaire hybrid-electric Cessna 337 tech demonstrator en route to Oshkosh

Ampaire will use a RED Aircraft AO3V12 turbodiesel engine rated to 550hp for its Eco Caravan aircraft, an upgrade to the current Cessna Grand Caravan.

The RED engine will provide the base power and the Ampaire electrical system the peak power.

The two companies will work to commercialise electrified propulsion aircraft, with Ampaire developing complete hybrid-electric propulsion systems and certifying them for various applications up to 800hp. RED Aircraft will develop, certify, and supply Jet A/SAF compatible engine subsystems to Ampaire.

RED V12 engine

RED Aircraft’s V12 turbodiesel

Ampaire says the new propulsion system for the Eco Caravan offers substantial benefits to users including:

  • Fuel consumption reduced by 70 percent on shorter trips and 50 percent on longer ones with greater corresponding reductions in CO2 emissions
  • The RED engine provides high thermodynamic efficiency that is 2X better than a comparable turboprop engine
  • The RED engine is compatible with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). With SAF usage, CO2 emissions have the potential for net zero
  • Engine initial cost and ongoing maintenance are substantially lower than for a turboprop engine.
  • Eco Caravan operating cost is 25-40 percent lower depending on an operator’s route structure.

Ampaire conducted the first Eco Caravan hybrid powertrain ground runs in April 2022, and plans to fly the aircraft in the second half of this year. The company is working with the FAA to achieve supplemental type certificate (STC) approval by 2024.

The Eco Caravan will retain the payload capabilities of the Grand Caravan, carrying up to 11 passengers or 2,500 pounds of cargo. Range improves to 1,100 nautical miles.

“The modern, powerful and ultra-fuel-efficient RED engines have exactly the right characteristics for the Eco Caravan’s hybrid-electric propulsion system and for many other upgrades or all-new designs we may pursue,” said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. ‚

The Ampaire hybrid-electric EEL demonstrator aircraft flew 1,880 miles from Los Angeles to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The journey included the single longest nonstop flight ever made by a hybrid-electric aircraft of 1,135 miles.



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