Explorer Aircraft has designed a single engine light utility aircraft for cargo and passengers. It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with magniX, for the provision of the electric propulsion for the aircraft.
The production aircraft will be a multi-purpose vehicle for diverse applications that has been designed to accommodate future advancements in technologies, such as hybrid-electric power and embedded auxiliary power units. It will have the capability to carry over 4,000 pounds of cargo.
“For Explorer Aircraft, it is important that we develop an aviation platform that provides our customers a tool to safely and efficiently deliver goods and services to their customers throughout the world, even under the most adverse conditions,” says CEO Bryan Lynch.
“Explorer Aircraft is thrilled to have magniX, the leading electric aircraft propulsion manufacturer, on board the Explorer programme,” adds Lynch. “No one else has done as much to push the profile and reality of electric aircraft in our industry.”
“We are thrilled to be powering the next generation of utility aircraft,” says Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “The new Explorer aircraft offers operators a real path to cleaner flying be it for passengers or cargo.”
Explorer has retained Scion Aviation to perform a firewall-forward installation of the PT6A-140A engine and new all electric power for landing gear and flaps. The prototype aircraft will demonstrate its unique landing gear system and advanced wing design that provides maximum fuel efficiency and superior low speed handling.
FAA approved flight testing of the prototype will begin with a 40-hour flight programme that aims to demonstrate the aircraft platform's integrity and flight characteristics. The aircraft's performance capabilities, such as minimum takeoff and landing distances, fuel consumption and flight characteristics will be determined with the revised systems.
Lynch concluded: “Explorer Aircraft are developing the only aircraft designed for powerplant options and future autonomous flight systems. Through a combination of high efficiency aerodynamics, composite materials technology and inclusion of leading technology suppliers and developers in the design process we are future-proofing our aircraft.”