Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace and the government of Åland on Thursday said they will collaborate on the deployment of Heart’s hybrid-electric regional airliner, the ES-30, on the Baltic Sea group of islands.
Åland is an autonomous part of Finland with a Swedish-speaking population. It sits in the Baltic Sea between two expansive economic regions, the south of Finland and the Stockholm region on Sweden’s east coast.
Åland’s capital, Mariehamn, lies less than 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the Swedish capital, Stockholm, and Finland’s third-largest city, Turku, and less than 300 kilometers from Finland’s capital, Helsinki, and second-largest city, Tampere.
“This is a significant step in the development of the ES-30 as it allows us to focus on the operating infrastructure required in support of zero-emissions flying out of Mariehamn,” said Heart Aerospace chief commercial officer Simon Newitt. “We look forward to working together with the government of Åland to make this a reality.”
Powered by electric motors with battery-derived energy, the ES-30 design provides for a standard seating capacity of 30 passengers and specifies a fully electric zero-emissions range of 200 kilometers, an extended range of 400 kilometers with a full passenger load, and flexibility to fly up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers.
With a population of 30,000 people, Åland has a thriving business community with more than 2,800 enterprises, three of which are publicly traded.
“Åland has had a positive population trend for the past 50 years and continues to grow each year,” said Fredrik Karlström, Minister for Trade and Industry for the government of Åland. “As an island community, our flight connections are vital to us, but so is our environment. That is why quiet, zero-emission electric flights are highly interesting to us.”
Airlines now provide Åland with three flight connections, from Mariehamn to Stockholm and to Turku and Helsinki on the Finnish mainland.
Last September, Heart unveiled the design for the hybrid-electric 30-seat ES-30 as a replacement for the planned all-electric, 19-seat ES-19 model the Swedish startup unveiled in 2020. 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.
Heart also plans to build facilities for advancing electric aviation technology at Gothenburg’s Säve Airport. The Northern Runway campus will accommodate the company’s offices, production, and flight test facilities, as well as provide space for partner companies in new sustainable buildings.