Rex Airlines announces plan to retrofit existing fleet with electric-propulsion engines in regional trial


A regional Australian airline has unveiled designs to retrofit some of its planes with electric powered-propulsion engines, describing it as the foreseeable future of air vacation.

Rex Airways has flagged Mount Gambier, in regional South Australia, as a single of the initial routes that will demo the electric powered planes in 2024, which assure to be quieter, fewer polluting and simpler to maintain than the existing turbine engines.

It will be the initially airline in Australia to trial electrical professional flights. Other more compact aviation businesses have mentioned they would be wanting to do one thing comparable by the finish of the ten years.

The airline’s deputy chairman John Sharp also expects it could ultimately guide to inexpensive airfares for country travellers.

Mr Sharp stated Rex experienced invested with Dovetail Electric powered Aviation to develop and certify the retrofitting of electric engines in some of its existing regional planes.

“We will be undertaking trials in 2024, with a serious plane, exactly where we’ll swap out the current motor, which burns jet fuel,” he claimed.

“And we will place in an electric powered motor that will be supported by a blend of both batteries and hydrogen.

“Amongst the batteries and the hydrogen, the electric motor will push the aeroplane through the air and get you from A to B.”

A side picture on a plane sitting on a runway
Rex Airways claims electric planes are the potential of air travel.(Equipped: Rex Airways)

Mr Sharp warned it would not be a swift system.

“It will require all the approvals of the Civil Aviation Security Authority to be certain it really is all risk-free,” he mentioned.

“But I assume that we’ll be observing this happening in this 10 years, which is anything I would not have considered attainable 3 decades ago.”

The technological know-how has been previously employed in more compact aircraft, these as two-seater planes.

“This is kind of main the world if you like, in this kind of know-how,” Mr Sharp claimed.

“We have been on the lookout all-around for a enterprise that experienced technological know-how we believed could get the job done for us, and this corporation seems to, so we’re going to give it a attempt.”

A small plan about the land on a runway with rolling grassy hill behind
Mr Sharp claims the transform could bring about cheaper airfares for regional passengers.(Supplied: Rex Airlines)

Lowering carbon emissions

Whilst also staying cheaper to work, the retrofitted aircraft are expected to be safer and quieter for folks dwelling close to airports.

“It truly is drastically distinct. The electrical motors are inherently safe — they’re almost certainly safer than any other variety of motor,” Mr Sharp claimed.

“The other excellent issue is that it will create much much less carbon emissions — in essence, none.

“That will help contribute towards our nationwide aim of lessening carbon emissions over the upcoming few a long time.”

For regional travellers, the know-how delivers the chance of less costly journey owing to the lessened expenses of jogging an airline.

“It really is acquired a few benefits — just one currently being the likely for decreased airfares,” Mr Sharp said.

“But next, it implies that routes that are marginal routes that we function now that definitely — you question whether you should really trouble to continue to do them — it’s going to make these routes viable for the extended-phrase.

“And it will open up up new chances in the towns and metropolitan areas where by you would not have imagined it would be viable to function a regional air service.

“All of a sudden, individuals towns will quickly develop into practical and be equipped to increase the community in
to communities that presently you should not have regional air provider.”

Rex aims to at first demo the know-how on its 34-seat aircraft used on regional routes beneath a single hour, these types of as its Mount Gambier to Adelaide support.



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