Earlier this week, Italian plane manufacturer Tecnam announced that it was teaming up with famed engine maker Rolls-Royce to create an electric utility plane called the P-Volt. As far as details, here’s what we know.
P-Volt will be a twin-engine, all-electric, nine-passenger plane based on the company’s P-2012 11-passenger, high-wing commuter dubbed the Traveller. It will be a true, all-electric too, with propulsion, avionics, environmentals (heating and a/c) all electrically powered.
Beyond that, there’s not a lot of detail. Tecnam says the plane will have “full-power availability for quick turnaround times between landing and takeoff,” though how the partners will achieve that is not yet known.
It’s doubtless a goal worth pursuing, and Rolls-Royce is working hard to position itself as a green propulsion supplier. An all-electric commuter would be highly desirable, not only for the cost saving, which would almost certainly be substantial, but also because of the low noise of electric motors. With commuters and package-carrying planes often going into and out of regional or smaller airports, community buy-in is critical, and electrics would surely help keep noise down and make for happier neighbors. And this is all on top of the lower emissions of electric power.
It’s an exciting project, and we’ll keep you updated as we learn more about it.