The Small Airliner Problem, Part 8. A battery-based airliner

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By Bjorn Fehrm

June 15, 2023, © Leeham News: In our series on fundamental costs factors that make up Cash Operating Cost, COC (Fuel, Maintenance, Airway/Airport fees, Crew costs), we have started analyzing if the size related cost factors also apply to green propulsion airliners and if the trends stay the same or change.

We use the Heart Aerospace ES-30 project as an example of a battery-based airliner with range extenders. Last week we developed the fundamental aero data for the aircraft with our Aircraft Performance and Cost model; now, we fly representative sectors and look at the energy and fuel consumptions compared to a similar-sized turboprop airliner.

Figure 1. The Heart Aerospace ES-30 hybrid 30-seat airliner. Source: Heart Aerospace.

  • There is a difference between what the theory says about aircraft range on batteries and how you have to fly in practice to keep battery costs down.
  • The ES-30 has dual range-extending Turbogenerators. They get going more often and at a shorter range than advertised.

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