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Ampaire electric aircraftCAMARILLO, US: June 06, 2019. Ampaire has achieved an aviation first with the successful first test flight of a hybrid-electric six-seat aircraft.

The aircraft, based on the six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster, was retrofitted with Ampaire's proprietary electric propulsion system powered by a lightweight battery. The electric motor replaces a combustion engine of the aircraft's original two-engine configuration. The result is a ‘parallel hybrid’, as the internal combustion engine and electric motor work in concert to optimize power output in flight.

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, today’s historic flight not only signifies a huge step forward for aviation, it also shines a light on Los Angeles’s leadership in transportation electrification,” said LACI CEO Matt Petersen.

Later this year Ampaire will begin a pilot commercial route on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The aircraft will be a newly- retrofitted Cessna 337 built with input from the test flight programme that continues through August. This aircraft will be a pre-production prototype.

The company plans to supply aircraft to short-haul regional airlines often serving remote communities and island regions. In addition to the upcoming pilot project on Maui, Ampaire is also collaborating with Vieques Air Link (VAL), a regional airline in Puerto Rico, to establish a pilot project on the island.

“The first flight of Ampaire’s electric passenger aircraft is a huge step forward for aviation,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports. “As a cleantech company that was started in our great city as part of LACI, Ampaire’s incredible achievement further cements Los Angeles as the leader in transportation electrification and technology innovation.”

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