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Wright Spirit – the world first zero-emissions airliner for regional jet market

Download: Printable PDF Date: 06 Nov 2021 09:13 (UTC) category:
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Wright Spirit – the world first zero-emissions airliner for regional jet market - Manufacturer publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: United States Aircraft: Airplanes

Wright Electric, Inc.announced the launch of a new addition to their family of zero-emissions aircraft for the commercial market. The announcement is being made in conjunction with COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The Wright Spirit will incorporate Wright’s megawatt-class electric propulsion system and serve the 100-passenger market for one-hour flights.

The Wright Spirit aircraft design builds on the BAe 146 platform - a 100 passenger, 4-engine aircraft known for its operation out of noise-sensitive airports. “Aviation has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but Wright is committed to a 100% reduction in all emissions starting in 2026,” said Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright. “Because we built the world's largest aerospace propulsive powertrain, we can build the world's largest zero-emissions retrofit directly serving the world's busiest routes."

The path was set in early 2020 with Wright’s announcement and development of their megawatt propulsion system for an all-electric commercial aircraft. Throughout the last two years, the company has been proving key components of the system including a high-efficiency, high-power density inverter and a 2 MW (2,700 HP) motor. The existing hydrocarbon-based propulsion system will be replaced with Wright’s all-electric, emissions-free propulsion system.

By focusing on one-hour flights, the Wright Spirit addresses the world’s busiest city pairs, such as Seoul-Jeju (world’s busiest route, 14 million passengers annually), London-Paris, Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo, and San Francisco-Los Angeles. “We can make a significant impact on global emissions by targeting this high-demand segment of the market,” says Jeff.

Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO from Viva Aerobus said, "Viva Aerobus is excited to support the development of the Wright Spirit as a member of the advisory board. As the Greenest Airline in Mexico, we are focused on aviation's commitment to greenhouse gas reductions. We look forward to collaborating with Wright to analyze the integration of a zero-emissions 100-passenger aircraft into airline operations."

David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations at easyJet added, “We believe zero emissions aircraft are key to addressing aviation’s environmental impact and so we fully support Wright Electric in their ambition to bring a zero-emissions aircraft to market. Wright have come a long way since we first started working with them in 2017 and we welcome this announcement as another important step on their journey.”

To develop the integrated propulsion system, Wright has assembled an innovative team of companies with expertise in generation, energy storage and propulsion design. The program now proceeds with on-going ground testing and final selection of the propulsion system. In 2023, the aircraft will begin flight testing with one all-electric propulsor. The development program will then accelerate towards flight testing with two all-electric propulsors by 2024 leading to the full-electric aircraft by 2026.



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