Based at Jarlsberg airport 60 miles (100km) south of Oslo, the Norwegian company Equator Aircraft, founded by Tomas Brodreskift began flight testing a proof-of-concept all-composite two-seat amphibian in 2018. Read more about the evolution of electric flights which takes place in Norway.
According to Brodreskift, the first commercial electric flights are anticipated to be a reality in 2030. The Equator Aircraft’s P2 Xcursion prototype has passed an audit by the Norwegian CAA and its first full test flight was successfully carried through on March 30 last year. The company describes their mission as a ”sustainable alternative to the noisy and costly types” which will serve commercial passenger and transport markets.
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Technology is progressing fast
“The pace at which technology is progressing is amazing. We must find emission-free solutions for transportation, including flight, and this will drive exponential development in electric and green propulsion,” Brødreskift, CEO of Equator Aircraft, predicts. “For us, it is both exciting and frustrating. We know it is coming, but it’s hard to develop a strategy when things are moving so quickly,” he adds.
After a fourth test flight on October 7 last year, Brodreskift said to the Flynytt magazine, ”In summary, the trip was a success. We pulled up the chassis for the first time, collected some data and also tested flaps and did general control tests.”
Several models in the planning stage
Feedback from the test flights is being incorporated into the first production-conforming prototype – a stretched version of the concept; X4 which is designed to seat up to four people and preliminary design work for an eight-seat model, X8, will hopefully be ready for the market by the end of the decade.
The X4’s European CS-23 certification campaign is scheduled to be approved by 2025.
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According to Brodreskift, many of the world’s major towns and cities are located adjacent to water. This makes downtown-to-downtown routes using seaplanes very attractive. Equator is collaborating with Danish operator Nordic Seaplanes to create the “ideal platform” for this segment.
“There are many cities in the world with proximity to water, where electric seaplanes can be the solution to replace helicopters and other less traditional aircraft. It is a very good market, today we actually earn more on our sightseeing trips than on the scheduled flights between Copenhagen and Aarhus,” says Lasse Rungholm, CEO of Nordic Seaplanes, in a press release from the company.
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The future is electric
“The future is electric, and we want to be at the forefront. That is why we have entered into a partnership with Equator where we will contribute our experience as a seaplane operator. We are very interested in this technology and have a plan to operate a fleet of electric seaplanes as soon as they become available,” says Rungholm.
The Evolution of Electric Flights Takes Place in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg