Heart Aerospace and Portuguese airline Sevenair have signed a letter of intent (LOI) covering the purchase of three electric ES-30s and an option for three more. With the expression of interest from Sevenair, the Swedish electric airplane manufacturer has collected commitments for the purchase of 230 ES-30s, options for 100, and LOIs for a further 99 of the 30-seat model it launched in September.
Sevenair serves on Heart’s industry advisory board, representing airlines, leasing companies, and airports worldwide. Specializing in public-service operations and wet-lease contracts, the airline operates seven routes in Portugal, all of which the ES-30 can cover with its 250-nm extended range, based on the use of a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
“We believe the ES-30 will be a game changer for the short-distance regional flights, offering low noise and no emissions,” said Sevenair chief commercial officer Alexandre Alves. “These features combined with the possibility of decreasing operating costs heavily impacted by fuel and maintenance will allow any airline operating the aircraft to offer new routes that before were not viable and expand the regional air connectivity to a broader spectrum of passengers.”
In mid-September, Heart Aerospace replaced the 19-seat ES-19 model, announced in 2020, with the ES-30. During a September 15 event at Heart’s Gothenburg headquarters, Air Canada and Swedish aerospace and defense group Saab each committed to investing $5 million in the venture.
Air Canada also placed a provisional order for 30 of the ES-30s, which Heart says will fly with four battery-driven electric motors and, now, a pair of turbo generators to meet reserve energy requirements “without cannibalizing range.”
The new model would offer an all-electric range of 125 nm, an extended full-payload range of twice that distance, and the potential for longer, hybrid-powered flights reaching 500 nm with 25 passengers on board, taking account of standard airline fuel reserves.
Heart has released few details about the new design and which of the existing program partners, including avionics supplier Garmin and aerostructures specialist Aernnova, will remain involved with the relaunched electric airliner program. It has not revealed, for instance, the source of the two new turbogenerators.
Drawings of the ES-30 show the addition of a large compartment in the lower fuselage for carrying batteries and new spars connecting the wing to the fuselage.