MIAMI – Volotea (V7), Air Nostrum (YW), and Dante Aeronautical have revealed plans for the world’s first all-electric airplane. The alliance anticipates certifying its first aircraft with this technology for all-electric flights in 2024. 

Back in March, the consortium asked for €42m of European Union COVID recovery funds to cover the design, engineering, and technical processes to create a more sustainable, all-electric regional air transport in Spain.

The all-electric aircraft project will mark a significant step toward a pollutant-free aviation era. Because of its lower operating costs compared to much bigger aircraft, this aircraft will play a critical part in building zero-emission regional air transport, allowing links to be formed between small population centers.

Initial designs and pictures for what will be the first prototype prove that more environmentally friendly aircraft are becoming a reality. Indeed, the collaboration predicts that this initial prototype will be approved for flight in three years, marking a significant landmark for the aviation sector.

Aviator reported that the partnership brings together two major aircraft operators, Dante Aeronautical and DataBeaco. It also brings along engineering and technology innovation companies in the aviation industry, such as the Spanish multinational CT. Additionally, the following public research organizations will be involved in the project:

  • CIDAUT (the Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development – Fundación para la Investigación y Desarrollo en Transporte y Energía)
  • CIDETEC (The Specialised Energy-Storage Research Centre – Centro de Investigación Especializado en el Almacenamiento de Energía)
AIR NOSTRUM EC-LJS BOMBARDIER CRJ-1000 (CL-600-2E25). Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways

Comments from the Consortium

Carlos Muñoz, Volotea’s founder and CEO commented, “We began working with Dante Aeronautical in 2019 and are extremely pleased to see how the project has progressed with the addition of new allies, including numerous Spanish technology companies.”

The V7 CEO added, “The development of an electric aircraft powered by hydrogen batteries will cut carbon output. It makes total sense for Volotea to join this project since it’s completely in line with our mission of linking underserviced cities and doing so in manners that are more sustainable.”

Air Nostrum CEO Carlos Bertomeu stressed that the Valencian airline has extensive expertise working with SMEs and institutions.

He remarked, “The benefits of Air Nostrum’s partnerships with technological start-ups and institutes to increase efficiency and passenger services have been proven.” He added that, “As a major regional airline, Air Nostrum clearly has a lot to offer to this fascinating initiative, particularly in terms of sustainability, which is something we’ve been working on for a long time.”

Co-founder of Dante Aeronautica Miguel Madinabeitia said, “For Dante Aeronautical, expanding the alliance to have other innovative technology firms can only solidify our strategy to create a 100% electric aircraft, which will revolutionize current thinking and move us towards cleaner and more sustainable transportation.”

“This project complements our efforts in other parts of the world, such as our hydroplane electrification initiative in Australia,” Madinabeitia said.

Featured image: DANTE Aeronautical