Heart Aerospace, a Swedish startup company developing electric aircraft, has been developing the ES-19, an all-electric, 19-passenger regional aircraft for quite some time now. The company is only four-year-old and dedicated entirely to developing electric aircraft. It is also one of the founding members of the Nordic Network for Electric Aviation-the country plans to make all of its short-haul flights electric by 2024.
The ES-19 (tech and specs)
Specifically designed to meet the future demands of the market in sustainable aviation, the 19-seater is equipped with a 400 kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. According to the company, this motor is 20 times less expensive than conventional turboprops of the same size, with maintenance costs that are 100 times lower.
The ES-19 is planned to have a 400-kilometre (250 mi) range and be able to charge in less than 40 minutes. Furthermore, the current battery pack is expected to grow over time as battery technology continues to evolve.
The Garmin G3000 avionics suite will be installed with custom functions related to managing the aircraft’s electronic systems and a lightweight, high-resolution flight display.
The company has developed its propulsion system in-house and is using automotive industry batteries as its power source. MT-Propeller is providing the ES-19’s seven-blade propellers. It is also in talks with several aerospace groups with a view to source cockpit systems and flight controls.
The company hit a major milestone on December 17 last year, when a scale-model of the plane took its first flight at the Heart Aerospace HQ at Säve Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The most dramatic thing about the test flight was how undramatic it was. The plane performed exactly as we predicted-soaring effortlessly through the air, with a precision take-off and landing. This test flight validated what we already knew- that the ES-19 aerodynamic design is inherently stable and safe.says Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace
The test flight took four and a half minutes. The aircraft flew with an average speed of 125
km/h (77mph/68 kn) and a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph/ 80 kn). The takeoff and
landing speed was 85 km/h (53mph/45 kn).
While the full-scale ES-19 will be made primarily from aluminium, the subscale model was constructed from a mix of carbon fiber and fibreglass composites.
Reportedly, the company will change the certification basis for its first aircraft, the ES-19, to EASA Certification Specification CS-25 from CS-23, which will enable the optimization of the product, reduce regulatory risk, and increase the accessible market.
Furthermore, this change will also apply to international certification validations, including the FAA concurrent certification application, which will be for 14 CFR Part 25 instead of 14 CFR Part 23.
In September 2020, Sounds Air of New Zealand signed a letter of intent to purchase ES-19 aircraft. Heart signed a letter of interest with Finnair in March 2021, which would allow the airline to purchase up to 20 ES-19 aircraft. In July 2021, United Airlines announced its intention to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft to be operated on United Express routes by Mesa Airlines.
The first Swedish all-electric ES-19 aircraft is set to enter service by 2026.