Aura Aero Announces Electric Regional Aircraft

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At a ceremony introducing its new production facility at the Toulouse-Francazal airport, Aura Aero announced that it will be developing a 19-seat, all-electric regional aircraft to fly in 2024 and enter service in 2026. The company is currently in development of both gas-powered and electric recreational aircraft, the Integral, called “a new generation of two-seater aircraft.”

There are few details about the new transport design. “AURA AERO aims to become a key player in low-carbon aviation, by developing a 19-seat regional transport aircraft with electric propulsion. Aiming to offer affordable, low-carbon point-to-point mobility solutions with also cargo transport capacity, this new highly connected electrically powered 19-seater aircraft will be equipped with electric motors, batteries specially developed for aeronautical use and a drastic reduction in noise pollution.”

Aura Aero says it will grow its staff from the current 50 to 80 employees by the end of the year. The piston-powered Integral R flew last summer and is said to be ready to start production late this year. An electric version is slated for first flight in 2022. Aura previously announced a partnership with battery startup Verkor. According to Jérémy Caussade, CEO and co-founder of Aura Aero, “Verkor is based on the same values as Aura Aero: innovation, traceability and respect of the environment. By bringing together our technologies, we will be able to launch the industrialization of our electric aircraft, while Verkor will gain access to the aeronautical market. It is a win-win partnership, and most of all it is a new step towards the aviation of tomorrow, low-carbon aviation.” Verkor is expected to provide lithium-ion battery technology to the electric Integral and, presumably, the commuter design.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. Of course, the electricity has to be generated somewhere. In France, it’s primarily nuclear. Here in the US, the woke mob is forcing us to use Chinese-made windmills and solar panels which are not only the most expensive way to generate power but present horrific reliability problems – as we just saw in Texas – and are environmental disasters for disposal after their very short lives are over. I went to electrical engineering school a long time ago, and I’m all about electric propulsion, but it has to make sense. Are current engineering schools turning out ANYONE who can do a simple cost/benefit analysis? Anyone?

          • Sorry, can’t blame the feds on this one. Texas eschewed Federal monies for their power grid in order to “go it alone” and avoid federal regulation.

          • Sorry, Jim, but you need new news sources. The federal subsidies for wind very much affect the market here in Texas. In fact, the power market designed and managed by ERCOT was created specifically to deal with them. Those subsidies are large enough that wind generators are able to pay utilities to buy their energy so that that they can collect the subsidy.

            I understand that you might hate Texas for some weird reason, but how about you try to keep it to yourself?

          • I think he used ‘woke’ broadly and assumed people know what that mentality is.

            Recently burped up by persons of Marxist root beliefs, it stands for people who completely reject any logic as we know it, reject any history of the human progress that they take for granted. Thus they cannot be persuaded, so I predict violence is their only option ultimately. We see that with the Extinction Rebellion group, whose roots are climate catastrophist, the group that terrorized the residence of the Premier of B.C.

      • Fact is that windmills in much of TX were not properly winterized, despite the lesson of cold weather in 2011. An area of western TX that is connected to the big western US+Canada electrical power grid did winterize after 2011.

        The huge problem with wind power is that it is intermittent, and wind varies even in windy areas. (Which mostly are coastal and central plains, plus some mountain passes like the Pine Pass through the Rocky Mountains, Snoqualmie Pass through the Cascades, and some locations in California.)

        Thus wind power requires backup, which could be in the form of costly storage or in the form of gas turbine powered generators. Yes, in many areas wind power needs fossil fuel to be viable for human life. (Aircraft gas turbines are by design quick to start and shut down, slower plants add steam generators using exhaust heat.)

    • Numerous studies have shown wind power to cost less than or equal to natural gas or coal power generation. Look up Lazard LCOE, it’s considered to be one of the best reports comparing power generation costs, and the comparison is very, very clear.

      Also, all sources of electricity generation were affected in Texas, but the largest loss in capacity came from failures in natural gas generation. 61% of the total capacity loss in Texas was from thermal sources (nuclear, coal, natural gas) and 39% was from wind and solar. About half the wind turbines in Texas continued to operate through the crisis.

      Please don’t spread misinformation.

      • I live in Texas. My solar was unusable because it was covered in ice/snow. Solar also stops working as soon as the regular grid drops(because of safety regulations). No way in hell does solar/wind make any sense in the real world winter months regardless of “studies”. Natural gas is dirt cheap and has proven to be reliable in disasters.

        • I live in Canada, and wind and solar work perfectly well in our climate (which, last time I checked, is a bit more harsh than Texas). Just because you Texans haven’t figured it out doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I know that’s a hard thing for you to accept.

          Also, you literally just had a disaster that showed that natural gas was just as prone to failure as wind, so I guess you’re going to just entirely ignore that.

          • Ours wind turbines are specifically modified to shed heat which I very much doubt yours are. How many people will die in Canada if you get two, 100+/100+ waves back to back this summer? How much have you invested to prevent this?

          • Just how well does solar work at night, especially this long nights up North? Of course they “work” just fine but just don’t make any power for very long periods of time. Wind is a bit more reliable but is showing to be costly now that maintenance needs to be done for blade errosion.

      • That’s debatable, depends in part on:
        – subsidies
        – calculations (a favourite trick of advocates of ‘alternative energy’ is to use installed capacity rather than realized production)

        Note that wind is regional, as is hydro-electric, so there is a cost in transmission losses and risk of unreliable transmission, as occurred from northern Quebec to the NE US due to icing of elevated transmission lines and on a second big occasion tripping of an overly sensitive design of compensation capacitance device.

        As for nuclear, it is very good for base load as it is slow to shut down and spool up. TX has some nuclear generation but even it had problems in the big freeze because some accessories like coolant pumps were not properly winterized. As for France, amusing is that it exports power to other countries in northwest Europe. A caution is aging of nuclear power plants thus need for repair or replacement.

    • Hopefully, current engineering schools are turning out graduates that don’t believe the ridiculous right wing nonsense about frozen Chinese windmills and solar panels being the problem in Texas. The Texas grid collapsed because some 28,000 megawatts of coal, nuclear, and gas power went offline—about a third of ERCOT’s total capacity. ERCOT failed, because fossil fuels failed. And one fuel failed in particular: natural gas.

      • While you are correct about what happened in Texas, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these generation methods. They all work just fine in plenty of cold climates. Texas generators didn’t spend the money to provide for cold weather operations. The failure was entirely managerial, not technical.

        • There ARE inherent reliability problems with solar and wind, doubly so in winter months. The don’t “work fine” for 24/7 reliability. Solar does not work at night, in a overcast, low light in early morning or late evening, or if the regular grid goes down. Winter months with very few hours of useable daylight are poor at best.

          Wind is also not 24/7 reliable. Even on windy days electric heating is the LEAST efficient way to warm a house.

          Just saying that the disinformation of renewables helping in a crisis is laughable.

        • That’s only partially true. The result we got was a product of a system which was a result of regulatory and market and political realities.

          It’s not a free market or a socialized one. It’s not government controlled nor totally deregulated. And it’s not immune to political influence.

          Whatever anyone blames mostly shows their biases. That’s the reality.

    • It is amazing how people successful in business, like Bill Gates, fall for the climate catastrophe scam. One reason is they compartmentalize. Perhaps fewer engineers lack ability to do a cost/benefit analysis, but having had a smear attempt against me by a president of a PE licensing body I see compartmentalizing there.

      What you miss may be that catastrophists do not see a need for a cost/benefit analysis, because they’ve already decided the cost of using fossil fuels is extremely high.

      • And they ignore the benefit of affordable portable energy to all people, especially to poor people.

        Some of them even don’t mind the spectre of fewer people, the devious activist David Suzuki is now preaching population reduction – after siring five children who are begating many more.

        (BTW, his actions and pronouncements show he is Marxist at root, as most climate activists are. They have a fixed-pie drive-to-the-bottom negative view of humans, which comes form denial of the effectiveness of the human mind for life. Strange psychology.)

        Objective person Alex Epstein illuminates benefits in his book ‘I Love Fossil Fuels’, I recommend reading it.

  2. Very cool looking aircraft. Hope it succeeds. And look forward to low operating cost, quieter, more reliable, safer, non polluting electric aircraft. The sooner the better, to revive the declining pilot population and rescue dying airports.

  3. The plane itself is vapor-wear and likely to remain that way.

    Batteries cannot store enough energy for long flights and still be light enough for long flights and a respectable useful load.

    I think IF a person wanted to use electric motors someday, hydrogen fuel cells may make sense but the physics and chemistry and math is not there for battery powered flight.

    Even in cars in order to have enough range to not need a tow truck home they need insanely heavy batteries, in many cases more than 1,000 pounds JUST for the battery. A car can get by with this although it hurts handling and driving dynamics but a plane cannot hide that kind of weight.

    Also the pursuit of electrification is unnecessary at this point.

    Someday fossil fuels may become scarce but that day is not today and it is not looking like tomorrow either. Fuel is cheap and plentiful.

    ALSO the US is a leader in fuel production. To take this MASSIVE economic advantage from us and give it to our enemies is insane and anti American.

    • Leehamnews.com has been running analyses of alternative energy sources.

      Batteries are very heavy for long flights.

      Their analyst seems to think hydrogen fuel is good. But he sounds like he has imbibed the coolaid of climate catastrophism.

      • Hydrogen fuel-cells would make long-range electric propulsion possible, but comes with two major obstacles:
        1) Hydrogen infrastructure. Almost none exists now. It will be costly to build and larger and more complex to install and maintain than fossil-fuel facilities.
        2) Hydrogen production consumes (read: wastes) a lot of energy, so you need to have a cheap, abundant, non-polluting energy source to power it.

  4. The world’s utilities infrastructure is based on fossil fuel. The world’s transportation system is based on fossil fuel. The US power-grid, national highway system, and delivery of goods and services is fossil fuel based. The US aviation, commercial and recreational is based on fossil fuels. Likewise globally.

    “The piston-powered Integral R flew last summer and is said to be ready to start production late this year. An electric version is slated for first flight in 2022.” Notice, this electric powered airplane start up company is using fossil fuel in its two place prototype.

    Fossil fuel is the primary source to power just about anything that moves. Until there is alternative sources of power, developed to the maturity of fossil fuel based power, that has been proven over time to be reliable, as well as sustainable, it is impractical to expect integration of new energy sources with the old without major, sometimes catastrophic results. Without a well planned national, state, and regional agreements to integrate the new with the old, knowing that the needs of Florida or south Texas is going to be quite different than Canada or Minnesota, fossil fuel is here to stay. Our national power grid is near or exceeds max capacity virtually every day. Events that adds any overload, causes the system to shut down.

    This argument between alternative sources to fossil fuel makes no sense unless the US has a way to integrate effectively, the new technologies within a currently overloaded system. Since there is no current one size fits all base power method combined with 50 individual state’s needs, the lobby groups will determine what the replacement, if any, of fossil fuel generated energy. Logic, common sense, evolutionary integration of new base power sources or efficient use and integration of existing solar/nuclear power will never replace green-backs to outstretched hands in Congress. Money controls the US power system, not logical implementation of new technologies as they mature. Money controls the direction of laws regulating or encouraging new aviation technologies, thereby driving the cost of development that so far, is too costly for a return on investment. So, we fly largely 50+ year old airplanes powered by good old fossil fuels.

    These companies such as Aura Aero exist largely due to grants, government investments, and speculation combined with equally other funded companies touting their synergistic energies that allows them to have an electrically powered 19 passenger sheeple hauler flying by 2022 and in passenger service by 2024. The only thing they have accomplished flying wise is another piston powered 2 place airplane, whose pistons are powered by fossil fuel, and another mile-marker relieving others of investment monies as they will find equally via the FAA and/or EASA, that no airplane will fly commercially unless certified by someone to rules that do not yet exist. Even if they get a flying “Prius” of sorts, there are no regulatory certification rules that allow for commercial use.

    And to fan the flames of controversy already at a small conflagration on this highly inflammatory topic, I will offer that what we eat, the modern methods it takes to bring our collective food choices to market, is the single most driver of climate change. Factory farming, developed in the US, spread throughout western nations, now being adopted by emerging and third world countries adds more to climate change than every ship, train, cars, airplanes, and fossil fuel generated power COMBINED. And we are adding to these unsustainable demands, bio-fuel being based on the same sources as the factory farming process that is base for our collective eating habits.

    97% of the amber waves of grain produced in the US is not feeding human beings. It is feeding livestock and ingredients in processed foods that we eat as our primary food source. Only 3% of our land is growing fruit and vegetables. This global demand for animal based products combined with processed foods is not ecologically sustainable. And now we are being convinced that we can take another slice of the US landmass that is already at max capacity producing grains for livestock and chemical ingredients in processed foods into bio-fuel for thirsty turbine helos, fanjet powered airliners, and ethanol for our current piston powered fleet of cars and trucks.

    While many argue back and forth about sustainability, what we place on our forks has the most impact on global ecological health…and our health as well. I am a proponent of good stewardship to our blue orb. But that stewardship includes all of the inhabitants of this blue orb. Our management of this planet is not going in the right direction. Physics is proving our lack of stewardship just like losing control in the pattern because one got too slow. And fossil fuel use is not even close to the magnitude that of our global food choices that is affecting climate change. Let the festivities of commentary begin. “Food” for thought I hope.

  5. Nicely said, Jim.

    As a physician (Yale and Rutgers and Stanford trained internal medicine specialist) I agree wholeheartedly and respect your thought process and clear communication.

    I personally care about ‘Global Warming’ not at all, but I agree that our collective eating habits are indeed harmful, lethal even.

    Eating a plant based (vegetarian or vegan) diet is healthier for the environment, but what I care about is that it’s healthier for my patients, loved ones, and myself.

    The effects (if any) of my motorcycles, cars, truck, or airplane on the environment are of no concern to me.