Ampaire is developing with its Eco Caravan aircraft an upgrade to the current world wide operated Cessna Grand Caravan fleet. Ampaire uses a RED Aircraft AO3 series compression ignition engine rated to 550 hp (405 kW) in an integrated parallel configuration. The RED engine provides the base power and the Ampaire electrical system provides the peak power.
Ampaire is targeting to commercialize electrified propulsion aircraft for various applications up to 800 hp, while RED Aircraft will develop, certify, and supply Jet A/SAF compatible engine subsystems to Ampaire.
The new propulsion system for the Eco Caravan offers substantial benefits to users and will be the first in a series of electrified fixed-wing aircraft that reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.
- Fuel consumption is reduced by 70 percent on shorter trips and 50 percent on longer ones with greater corresponding reductions in CO2 emissions due to the contribution of the electric motor and the optimized use of the RED engine.
- The RED engine provides high thermodynamic efficiency that is 2X better than a comparable turboprop engine.
- The RED engine is JET A/SAF compatible. With SAF usage, CO2 emissions have the potential for net zero.
- Engine initial cost and ongoing maintenance are substantially lower than for a turboprop engine. Durability and reliability of the RED engine has been demonstrated in applications such as the Air Tractor AT 301, an agricultural aircraft, and the YAK-152 aerobatic trainer.
- Eco Caravan operating cost is 25-40 percent lower depending on an operator’s route structure.
The Eco Caravan will retain the payload capabilities of the Grand Caravan, carrying up to 11 passengers or 2,500 pounds of cargo. Range improves to 1,100 nautical miles.