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The dream of electric passenger aircraft is gearing up

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

At the beginning of June, Heart Aerospace moved its headquarters to the Lindholmen Science Park area and strengthened the innovation cluster in sustainable and electrified transport. We had a chat with Christina Zander, Head of Communications, about milestones and challenges.

eldrivet flygplan i luften

Image: Heart Aerospace

What made you choose to invest in Gothenburg and later Lindholmen? 

''Gothenburg has distinguished itself as a driving force in electrification with a high concentration of research facilities and companies with a focus on electric vehicles. The Lindholmen area is truly the focal point for electromobility in Europe. It is also centrally located, which will make it easier for our employees and visitors.''

When does the move take place? 

''We will start moving in next week to our new headquarters, which will be in the Semcon building.''

What milestones have been important in your path to success?

''Heart Aerospace started as an offshoot of a research project and the company received its first funding through the American technology start-up accelerator Y Combinator. Since then, Heart Aerospace has grown step by step, bringing in new investors and orders and developing its product. Today, we have just over 200 employees from 30 different countries, with over 100 avionics experts who have worked on over 100 aircraft programs and certified aircraft on five continents.''

Why is it so important to invest in electric aircraft?

''As flying has increased in recent decades, emissions from airplanes have also increased, even though the airplanes themselves have become more fuel efficient. This came to an abrupt halt during the pandemic, but now that we are opening up the world again, emissions are back to where they were before the pandemic. But it doesn't stop there. Globally, air travel is still in its infancy. Only 20% of the world's population has ever flown on an airplane, meaning that there are over six billion people worldwide who have never been in the air. And when they start connecting to this amazing infrastructure, emissions will increase exponentially. So we have to break this trend. Airlines are doing a lot of good things, from better route planning to higher load factors, to blending biofuels, doing offsets and buying planes with more efficient jet engines. That's really good. But that's not enough when air travel is growing globally by 5% every year. We need new technology and a new generation of aircraft that can completely reduce carbon dioxide emissions from air travel.''

When do you aim for the first electric passenger aircraft to be in the air? 

''Heart Aerospace is developing the ES-30 regional electric aircraft and aims to enter service in 2028. The ES-30 is in its preliminary design phase, which means we are in the process of selecting our key partners and suppliers. Test flights are planned for 2026.''

''The ES-30 is a regional electric aircraft with a standard seating capacity of 30 passengers powered by electric motors with battery-powered energy. The ES-30 will have an all-electric zero-emission range of 200 kilometers, an extended range of 400 kilometers, all including typical airline reserves.''

What is the biggest challenge for you to keep the schedule?

''Our biggest challenge is to ensure that all the parts needed to develop, build and deliver an aircraft - from designing the aircraft, recruiting the right talent to certification processes, supply chain etc, proceed in a synchronized manner. Certifying a new aircraft is challenging and that is why we have chosen to focus on renewing the powertrain and keeping many other parts of the plane as conventional as possible - the first goal is to get the plane to take off! Therefore, we use existing suppliers where possible, to reduce risks and costs.''

About 30,000 people work at Lindholmen daily, do you have a greeting for those who are curious about you?

''We at Heart Aerospace are really looking forward to moving into our new premises and becoming part of Lindholmen's inspiring innovation hub. See you!''


fasad och människor med massa himmel

Heart Aerospace visits the new headquarters in the Semcon building, Lindholmsallén.