Electric Aircraft-United

United Airlines Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mesa Airlines have an undisclosed Amount invested in the electric aircraft start-up Heart Aerospace. UAV is United Airlines ‘ corporate venture capital fund, which allows the airline to invest in emerging companies that have the potential to To influence the future of travel. The fund is focused on sustainability and complements United’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 without relying on traditional carbon offsets.

Heart Aerospace develops the ES-19:

  • The ES-19 is a 19-seat electric aircraft that can fly up to 250 miles.
  • The ES-19 could hit the market as early as 2026, but more realistically by the end of the decade.
  • United has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft once the aircraft meets United’s safety, business and operational requirements.
  • Mesa Airlines (a regional partner of United Airlines), has also agreed to conditionally purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, subject to similar requirements.
  • The ES-19 would use electric motors instead of jet engines and batteries instead of jet fuel.
  • The ES-19 could serve more than 100 of United’s regional routes from most hubs, including Chicago (ORD) to Purdue (LAF) and San Francisco (SFO) to Modesto (MOD).

Is there a future for 19-seat aircraft?

United Airlines-Electric AircraftIn general, it’s great to see investment in more sustainable aviation, and in many forms. Airbus, for example, is also working to develop zero-emission aircraft that could replace some of the narrow-body aircraft currently in service.

Airbus is also investing in zero-emission aircraft. Apart from that, however, the concept of 19-seat aircraft is generally surprising, even if they are electric. Because large airlines usually shy away from smaller aircraft and today the regional partners of American, Delta and United no longer operate turboprop aircraft, but focus on regional jets with more than 50 seats.

Airports are also increasingly overloaded by the number of aircraft and 19-seat aircraft also do not seem to be a great help here. This makes many doubt the overall economy of 19-seater aircraft, also because they need two pilots and at least one flight attendant. How can this be economically viable with only 19 passengers?

Unusual aircraft orders from United Airlines

Electric air taxisDespite the pandemic, 2021 has been quite an exciting year for United Airlines in terms of aircraft orders and investment. However, the actual aircraft orders can be separated from the” aircraft orders”.

The biggest and most credible announcement was that United ordered 270 aircraft, including 737 MAX and A321neos, which will be used to modernize the airline’s fleet. This is a great development, especially since it is part of a larger project to refresh the cabins of narrow-body aircraft.

In addition, United has also invested in some other – sometimes questionable – concepts, provided they meet the company’s “security, business and operational requirements.”

United, for example, plans the Purchase of 15 supersonic aircraft of the type boom “Overture” with an option to another 35 aircraft. These aircraft will be added to United’s fleet no earlier than 2029.

United also plans to purchase 200 electric flying taxis from Archer that can take off and land vertically. These aircraft could fly up to 100 kilometers at up to 240 kilometers per hour and to revolutionize urban mobility. How exactly this fits into United’s business model remains to be seen.

Summary-The Future of United Airlines

Future of UnitedUnited Airlines is investing in Heart Aerospace, which is developing a 19-seat electric aircraft that could fly as early as 2026. In addition to general investments, United has provisionally ordered 100 of these aircraft, subject to compliance with United’s safety regulations and business and operational requirements.

While it’s cool to see this kind of technology emerge, it’s debatable how this should fit into United’s overall strategy. A 19-seater aircraft seems to be a step backwards for aviation, especially given the congestion problems we are already seeing at major airports. And what are the chances that by 2030 we will see people flying to Newark in Archer electric taxis, where a Boom Overture supersonic jet is parked next to a Heart Aerospace ES-19? That remains to be seen…

Last updated on July 14, 2021

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