easyJet, a leading regional airline operating in Europe, has partnered with U.S. based startup Wright Electric to develop a small electric-powered aircraft that could efficiently serve on short-haul airline routes. Last week, the airline confirmed the project is progressing—Wright Electric has applied for a patent on “a novel motor design” for “an easyJet-sized aircraft” that could fly from London to Amsterdam, about 200 NM, which is the second-busiest route in Europe. Wright Electric partner Axter Aerospace already has a two-seat aircraft flying, and a nine-seat aircraft is expected to start flying next year.
The passenger aircraft now in development will be designed by Darold Cummings, who worked on multiple projects at Boeing over many years before he retired in 2004. Wright Electric also has filed for a patent for an electric motor to be used in the larger aircraft. EasyJet says the London – Amsterdam route “is seen as a strong contender for full electric flying in the future.”