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EasyJet Partner Wright Electric Selected by U.S. Department of Energy Electric Aircraft Program

Wright Electric has been selected for a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will support the development of ultra-efficient electric motors, drives and thermal management systems.

Proposed Wright 1 Electric Aircraft in easyJet livery - Courtesy easyJet

Today (October 12, 2020), easyJet announced that their partner Wright Electric has been selected for a contract by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The contract will provide funding for the support and development of ultra-efficient electric propulsion motors, drives and thermal management systems for electric commercial aircraft. EasyJet has been working with Albany, New York based Wright Electric, Inc., in support of the development of a 186-seat electric aircraft called the ‘Wright 1’, which will be designed for flights up to 800 miles. An aircraft with this range could conceivably cover around 50 percent of the routes in easyJet’s network. In Monday’s announcement, easyJet’s Director of Flight Operations, David Morgan, said,

“We are excited to see this news as funding is going to be so crucial in unlocking the potential of new technologies, so this marks another step on their journey to developing their all electric aircraft. easyJet remains absolutely committed to more sustainable flying and we know that technology is where the answer lies for the industry. We are committed to collaborating on the development of these new technologies – as demonstrated by our support of Wright Electric – with the aim of being an early adopter when they come to market.”

Also commenting on the new ARPA-E contract, Wright Electric’s CEO, Jeff Engler, added,

“We could not be more happy to collaborate with the experts at ARPA-E on the future of aircraft design. Since 2016, Wright Electric has pioneered efforts to advance aerodynamics and propulsion technologies and we remain focused on our ultimate goal to produce a fleet of zero-emissions commercial airplanes.”

Albany, New York (U.S.) based Wright Electric, Inc. is building technologies for large commercial airplanes. The company is currently developing their flagship Airplane, the Wright 1, which will be a 186-seat single aisle airliner with an 800 mile range. The company hopes to achieve entry to service for the Wright 1 by 2030 and is working with commercial airlines including easyJet and VivaAerobus. In addition to the newly announced U.S. DOE’s ARPA-E funding, the company is funded by Y Combinator, the Clean Energy Trust and venture funds.

Source(s): easyJet, Wright Electric


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