EAG Proposes Electric Airliner


The Electric Aviation Group (EAG) has announced a proposal for a 70-seat hybrid-electric airliner, in what amounts to “going big” in next-gen regional airliners. According to the company, “Whilst a number of small electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, up to 19 seats,  have been proposed, their limited range and small capacity will make it difficult for an airline to deploy them on profitable routes in sufficient numbers to have a measurable impact on the environment and make a profit.” The high-wing regional jet, with a pair of turboprop engines and two electric booster motors, could be ready for service by 2028.

EAG, a U.K.-based “engineering and development firm,” says that its focus is on “the key technical and integration challenges facing a larger aircraft, [and] EAG has shown that it is possible to launch regional aircraft with up to 70 seats and ranges up to 1200 nautical miles. Since the majority of commercial flights flown in the World on a daily basis are at ranges less than this there is an unrivaled opportunity for a first mover in this sector.”

Dubbed a “disruptive” design, there are nevertheless few details given about this airliner, though it is touted as potentially “whisper-quiet” and having “efficient battery integration.” Images of the design concept show solar cells along the top of the fuselage. It is said to have both STOL performance and be capable of “gear-assisted takeoff run,” which sounds like a lot of fun for ex-naval aviators with carrier experience but maybe not so much for Aunt Marge. The company also says that this will be a “future proof” design able to accommodate technological changes, such as newer, more energy-dense batteries, as well as a switch to all-electric power should those come to fruition.

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KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. 2028!? Is everyone so interested in “electric” that no one noticed it’s going to take 8 long years to get one in service? Douglas and Northrop must be sitting in heaven making jokes about stupid kids. The DC-1 went from request to delivery in less than a third of that time. In half that time, they were delivering the DC-3 to fill the same requirement.

    Of course, they didn’t have a super computer on their desk, the internet in their pocket, and over a century of experience flying people and freight.

    I’d be REALLY happy if we could get the nanny state types to make some choices. Either global warming is important, or it’s not. If it is, then let’s get government out of the way of progress. It’s not like we didn’t get the MAX even with all this nonsense slowing things down.

    • Eight years is not an extraordinary time for a non-derivative plane to go from concept to delivery. Heck, just then engine for the HondaJet took nearly four years to certify, after it had been flying for years before that.

      • Exactly! It’s ridiculous that this is our new normal.

        Look, I’m not calling to defund the FAA, I’m just suggesting that we start continuously pointing out this stuff as being unacceptable levels of red tape.

        • Thanks to the 737 MAX debacle, the FAA has lots of egg on its face (maybe an entire omelette?). So now litterally every project is under the microscope. Add to that the FAA’s apparent aversion to electric propulsion, and eight years may be optimistic. I guess the good news is that it will give the battery industry lots of time to come up with better storage systems.

    • “Douglas and Northrop must be sitting in heaven making jokes about stupid kids.”

      They’re probably sitting there saying “How can they manage to have fewer fatal accidents per year than we did, but 100 times as many flights traveling 10 times as far??”

  2. This design is about as “disruptive” as an F-27. Another high wing turbo prop with an artist’s rendering of solar cells and two additional “whisper quiet” electric engines. There is nothing “whisper quiet” about any propeller developing thrust let alone four of which two are being turned by a turbine.

    I will agree this airplane is “future proof”. This press release is proof to me that it has no future other than in the minds of EAG. For some reason, aviation draws those who have all the technical sophistication to create artist renderings and virtual reality videos glowingly but nothing more. As if showing another drooped tip, V-tail, very conventional aircraft, with claims of certification, performance ( including STOL), expounding market potential in a new Covid-19 world that has decimated local, national, and global air travel, by a company who has built no airplanes, will generate any legitimate interest.

    If all we need to do to accomplish anything in aviation is “propose”, I propose a 4 place airplane that folds into a small suitcase, powered by free energy, is STOL and supersonic, is “whisper quiet”, needs no maintenance, flies in all weather, feeds me when I am hungry, and aerobatic. I also want it “future proof” so that it can be powered by something better than totally free energy…when that becomes available.

    Apparently, all I have to do now is come up with an artist rendering of my “proposal”, create a video simulating my “proposal” in action, and voila!…the money comes pouring in. I will go set up my new bank account for my “proposal” right away.

    • Someone needs to remind us of the guy who lived on that deal for decades. His flying car mock up got into Popular Mechanics every few years like it hadn’t been in there in the previous decades.

      Moller? Moeller?

    • Moller Skycar. He was involved in an actual manufacturing enterprise at one time, the Supertrapp line of motorcycle performance pipes.

      Jim H., I was ready to write the check until I saw your proposal does not feature retractable floats. When will somebody pay attention to the marketplace??? LOL

      • Chris K…my humblest apologies for not including retractable floats in complete disregard for a significant portion of the marketplace. Since, it is a “proposal”, I can offer my sincerest apology by adding retractable floats plus baggage toting sponsons that use moisture from the bilge pump to press your clothes. It will articulate into a long plank making the well dressed man or woman impervious to wet feet, wrinkled clothes, and that general unkempt look many of us display when climbing out of our “conventional” light planes. Let me know what else you might think of that I have inadvertently missed. I am sure the check is now in the mail.