Ampaire completes ‘most northerly’ hybrid-electric aircraft deployment to date
Just over 3,400 miles later Ampaire’s aircraft has landed in Alaska, marking the most northerly deployment of a hybrid-electric aircraft ever.
The series of flights from Southern California to Fairbanks International Airport, located in central Alaska about 250 miles north of Anchorage, also marked the first international hybrid-electric flight and the first hybrid-electric aircraft to gain both FAA and TCCA (Canada) special airworthiness approvals. The deployment was made possible by the use of mobile electric aircraft chargers positioned in Alaska and Canada.
Kevin Noertker, Ampaire co-founder and CEO said: “This first-of-its-kind flight reflects the monumental progress we have made in electrified aviation, and we’re excited to continue deploying solutions that increase reliability, accessibility, and cost savings for communities around the globe. These projects are all about people – creating jobs and economic growth, increasing connectivity while decreasing costs, benefiting our communities, and building our future together.”
To make its flight to Alaska, the Ampaire aircraft navigated wildfire smoke and rain, demonstrating capability beyond previous deployments in California, Hawaii and the UK. Ampaire is a member of the Launch Alaska Portfolio and graduate of Launch Alaska’s Tech Deployment Track. Its retrofitted Cessna 337 Skymaster has been developed with support from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
ARPA-E director Dr. Evelyn Wang, said: “To enable low-cost, low-carbon transportation, we need to commercialise electrified aircraft technologies and realise the full potential of regional airports. If we rise to this challenge, we can connect Alaskans and all Americans to one another, transport goods, and provide services including medical care. We can drive down the cost of travel and make it accessible for all communities. This historic trip is a milestone on the road to commercialisation, and ARPA-E is proud to support Ampaire’s work to achieve the full potential of hybrid-electric and electric aircraft.”
Isaac Vanderburg, Launch Alaska president and CEO, added: “Tech deployments like this are key to advancing the energy transition, with immediate and long-term benefits for the communities they serve. Aviation plays a huge role in Alaska’s economy and way of life, and we’re so proud to help support companies like Ampaire as they develop solutions to decarbonise and advance one of our most vital modes of transportation.”