MIAMI – As airlines around the world seek to reduce carbon emissions, engine maker Rolls-Royce and Italian airframer Tecnam are teaming up to produce an all-electric passenger commuter aircraft for the Norwegian airline Widerøe.

The P-Volt aircraft could be ready for revenue service in 2026, according to a news release, expanding a research program between Rolls-Royce and Widerøe on sustainable aviation and the existing partnership between Rolls-Royce and Tecnam.

“Norway’s extensive network of short take-off-and-landing airports is ideal for zero-emissions technologies,” said Stein Nilsen, CEO of Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia. “This aircraft shows how quickly new technology can and will be developed, and that we are on track with our ambition of flying with zero emissions around 2025.”

Due to its topography, Norway relies on aviation for regional connectivity even for short hops, and has an ambition for all domestic flights to be zero emissions by 2040.

Photo: Rolls-Royce

Innovation Trifecta

This innovation trifecta involves Rolls-Royce with its expertise in propulsion and power systems; Tecnam for aircraft design, manufacturing, and certification capabilities; and Widerøe as the aircraft operator.

“This collaboration strengthens our existing relationships with Tecnam and Widerøe as we look to explore what is needed to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market,” said Rob Watson, director of Rolls-Royce Electrical.

Added Fabio Russo, chief of project R&D and product development at Tecnam: “It is incredible to see the interest around the P-Volt, not only coming from regional airlines, but also from smart mobility-based companies.”

The all-electric P-Volt aircraft, based on the 11-seat Tecnam P2012 Traveller model, is ideal for short take-offs and landings, particularly for routes serving smaller communities along Norway’s rugged coasts.

Featured image: Rolls-Royce