Swedish electric aircraft developer Heart Aerospace has successfully conducted a test flight with a scale model of its ES-19 airplane.
The first test flight of the model was conducted last month at Heart Aerospace’s site at Säve Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Heart plans to conduct the first test flights of a full-scale prototype of the ES-19 during 2024 and for the ES-19, which will seat 19 passengers and have a range of 400km (250 miles) to enter service on commercial short-haul flights in 2026.
Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace said, “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.”
During the four and a half minute test flight the subscale model flew with an average speed of 125km/h (77mph) and a maximum speed of 150km/h (93 mph). The take-off and landing speed was 85 km/h (53mph/45 kn).
With a wingspan of 4.6m, the Heart ES-19 model aircraft is built in scale 1:5 according to the exact dimensions of the full-scale ES-19 aircraft. The model is made from carbon fiber and fiberglass composites whereas the full-scale aircraft will be made mainly from aluminium.
Off-the-shelf components, including the motors were used for the on-board systems of the, whileaA full-scale demonstrator of the ES-19 drivetrain has been in ground testing for more than a year.
Forslund said, “We are not looking to reinvent the wheel. A lot of startups are presenting very novel aircraft architectures, spending several years in subscale testing just to demonstrate the basic functionality of the aircraft.
“We’ve avoided these pitfalls by relying on a conventional aircraft architecture. We can devote almost all our resources to the formal development – bringing this aircraft through certification and into commercial service.”
This subscale demonstrator was supported by the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, as a part of the research project “Elise – Electric Aviation in Sweden”. Heart Aerospace is developing the world’s first fully electric passenger airliner for commercial use.