After investing into electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace, United signed an agreement to acquire 100 ES-19 aircraft.
Heart Aerospace, an airplane company based in Gothenburg in Sweden, is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade. United Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, once the aircraft meet United’s requirements. Mesa Airlines, United’s key strategic partner, has also agreed to add 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet.
Electric aircraft for the future of airspace industry
By utilizing electric motors and batteries, ES-19 aircraft will have zero operational emissions. And with this agreement, United is promising to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050.
Seating 19 passengers, it will also be larger than any other electric competitor. It will operate on the same types of batteries used in electric cars. The noise level will be much lower than fossil-fuel-powered aircraft, and the engine vibrations will be virtually eliminated. The company is advertising ES-19 as a low-noise aircraft enabled to operate on 750 m short runways. This means it will be able to operate on the vast network of small airports from hubs like Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO). The first-generation aircraft will have a maximum range of up to 400 km, which will increase with new types of batteries.
Electric motors will reduce maintenance costs by 90% compared to turboprops, and fuel costs by 50-75%.
— United Airlines; Heart Aerospace