Tecnam’s P2012 Traveller mini-airliner could be one of the first all-electric aircraft to enter into service as a revenue-earning airliner as soon as 2026.
The 11-seater is currently powered by two avgas burning 325hp Lycoming engines but Tecnam has already revealed its P-Volt project with Rolls-Royce to convert it to electric propulsion.
Now Scandinavia’s largest regional airline, Widerøe, is working with both Tecnam and Rolls-Royce to introduce the electric P2012 to Norway.
Stein Nilsen, chief executive of Widerøe said, “Norway’s extensive network of short take-off and landing airports is ideal for zero emissions technologies. This aircraft shows how quickly new technology can and will be developed, and that we are on track with our ambition of flying with zero emissions around 2025.”
For Rolls-Royce, signing up an airline is a key move forwards in its bid to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
The venture will look at all elements of developing and delivering an all-electric passenger aircraft that could be used in the Norwegian market from 2026.
Rolls-Royce will bring its expertise in propulsion and power systems. Tecnam will provide aircraft design, manufacturing and certification capabilities. Widerøe’s mission will be to ensure that all competence and requirements of an airline operator are in place for entry into service in 2026.
Fabio Russo of Tecnam, said, “It is incredible to see the interest around the P-Volt, not only coming from regional airlines, but also from smart mobility-based companies.
“This last year has demonstrated the importance of promoting capillary connections between small communities, while reducing the congestion of the main hubs.
“The P-Volt, like the P2012 Traveller today, will perfectly fit the scope of this programme.”
Before the pandemic, Widerøe operated around 400 flights per day using a network of 44 airports, where 74% of the flights were distances less than 275km and the shortest flight durations were between seven and fifteen minutes.
The all-electric P-Volt aircraft, based on the 11-seat Tecnam P2012 Traveller aircraft is ideal for the short take-off and landing as well as for routes in the North and the West Coast of Norway.
Rolls-Royce also has an existing strategic partnership with Tecnam to develop the modified Tecnam P2010 aircraft with the H3PS1 propulsion system, the parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for General Aviation started together with Rotax in May 2018.