UK firm unveils plans for ‘world’s first’ low carbon commercial plane

The Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HERA) aircraft, which is expected to go into service in 2028, seats 70 passengers and generates far fewer emissions than a standard plane

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A UK firm has unveiled plans for what it claims is the world’s first low carbon commercial plane.

The Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HERA) design, developed by the Electric Aviation Group (EAG), aims to deliver a “technical and commercial entry point” for sustainable mass air transport – the aircraft, which is expected to go into service in 2028, seats 70 passengers and generates far fewer emissions than a standard plane.

The firm says it boasts “whisper-quiet operation” and promises airborne battery regeneration technology will minimise turn-around time on the ground, improving operational efficiency.

A feature called Gear Assisted Take-Off Run (GATOR) enables rapid acceleration for a quick take-off, reducing overall energy requirements, while a future-proof design means the aircraft will be able to accommodate alternative energy sources if they become available before 2030 – the plane can be made all-electric or carbon-neutral as battery density capabilities improve or alternative fuels mature and become affordable.

The organisation expects the development of the clean plane will initially create more than 25,000 jobs and unlock $5 billion (£4bn) in investments across the UK aerospace industry.

Kamran Iqbal, Founder and CEO at EAG, said: “Significant investments have been raised to develop sub-19 seat hybrid and all-electric aircraft which we believe is the wrong strategy. These small planes cannot meet the demands of mass air transportation or the requirements of decarbonisation.

“Our design is for an aircraft that will initially offer 800 nautical miles range at launch in 2028 and which will be able to carry over 70 people. We will be a first mover in what is a $4.4 trillion (£3.5tn) market.”

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