Several aviation companies including Tecnam and Rolls-Royce have joined forces to develop an all-electric short-haul aircraft.
Announced this week, the P-VOLT project will also involve several other companies including North American and European Airlines.
The nine-seat aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce electric motors and is targeted at passenger, cargo, medevac and special mission operations.
Tecnam CEO Paolo Pascale Langer said the P-VOLT would help take aviation away from a reliance on carbon-based fuels.
"We all need to commit our efforts towards systems that contribute to decarbonization," Langer said. "By combining efficiency and renewable energy into the futuristic propulsion system, we will not only reduce costs, but also grant a greener future to our passion for flying.”
Tecnam and Rolls-Royce are already collaborating on the H3PS, a hybrid-electric version of the P2010 four-seater, making the two obvious partners to take the P-VOLT forward.
“Rolls-Royce is committed to delivering the electrification of flight and to support the de-carbonisation of aviation," Rob Watson, Director, Rolls-Royce Electrical said.
"This new partnership with Tecnam will strengthen our existing relationship, further developing both companies’ capabilities. We are delighted to work with all the partners on a programme that has the potential to develop the technology to make a significant leap in the commuter market.”
The P-Volt propulsion system and avionics will be specifically targeted at commercial operations. All-electric motors, avionics, heating, air conditioning and state-of-the art de-ice/anti-ice systems are expected to provide sustainable and pollution-free transportation.
Dedicated battery technology will ensure full power availability for quick turnaround times between landing and take-off. The benefits of the propulsion system also extend to reducing the aircraft’s operating costs and noise emissions.