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Electric Aviation Group (EAG) Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HERA)

fightingirish

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This EAG HERA aircraft concept reminds me of the Airbus (UK) Bird of Prey aircraft concept. Well, both concepts have the Union Jack on their tail. ;)
British design will create UK jobs and a blueprint for sustainable mass air transportation

BRISTOL, England, July 20, 2020 - A pioneering design for a Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft which will deliver a technical and commercial entry point for sustainable mass air transport is being unveiled today. The disruptive design has been developed by the Electric Aviation Group (EAG), the UK-based engineering and development firm, which expects its first aircraft to be in service by 2028.


EAG has optimized the latest technology, economics and operational parameters to create the design for the Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HERA), to ensure it can solve the challenges of decarbonisation and mass transportation.

Key information about the 70+seater HERA:

  • Whisper-quiet operation reduces noise pollution
  • Innovative airborne battery regeneration to minimize turn-around time
  • Efficient battery integration
  • Thermal management of motors and power electronics
  • Gear Assisted Take-Off Run (GATOR) gives rapid acceleration for a quick lift-off reducing energy requirements
  • Short take-off-and-landing (STOL) performance enables new route opportunities affording greater profitability to operators
  • Cabin-flex design enables passenger operation during the day and cargo operation at night
  • Suitability for operating from regional airports brings convenience to travelers and gives increased proximity to warehouses, enabling private sector cargo to optimise last-mile terrestrial logistics and delivery systems and reduce carbon emissions
  • Future-proof design to accommodate alternative energy sources if available before 2030
  • Flexibility to transform into an all-electric or carbon-neutral as the battery density improves or alternative fuels and associated powertrain technologies mature and become affordable.
The design, which is being unveiled to coincide with the opening of FIA Connect, the virtual Farnborough Airshow today, has received unequivocal support from EAG's JetZero consortium, which includes some of the UK's leading engineering and manufacturing organisations and senior academic advisors.

"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," commented Kamran Iqbal, founder and CEO at EAG. "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 market."

EAG will draw on the rich heritage and strong aviation industry in Bristol when it begins production of the new aircraft for which it has already developed and filed a total of 25 patents covering a wide range of technologies. The organisation expects to initially create more than 25,000 jobs and unlock $5 billion investments in the UK aerospace industry.

"We expect this to be a great example of British design, engineering and build," said Kamran Iqbal. "Not only will the development of the HERA help the Department of Transport accelerate its 'Jet Zero' carbon reduction goals, it will also help to create much needed job opportunities in the aerospace, manufacturing, engineering and services industries post-Brexit. This represents the future of both passenger and cargo flights internationally and as an opportunity for investment, it could not be better timed."
Link: https://www.electricaviationgroup.com/
 

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yasotay

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While it would do well in Europe, assuming the technology works, in the US the "Oh my God! It has propellors !" public might not be as ready to embrace the technology.
 

Sundog

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While it would do well in Europe, assuming the technology works, in the US the "Oh my God! It has propellors !" public might not be as ready to embrace the technology.
I could see Horizon using something like this to replace their Q400s.
 

TomcatViP

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Great design but anyone knows why the downward winglets? Is that only a marketing thing?
 

Archibald

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Way to go, perhaps as a successor to the ATR and propeller-driven regional airliners. Props are much less critical here (as shown by the stubborn resistance of ATR to Bombardier and Embraer jets over the last 25 years...)
 

Viper2000

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Great design but anyone knows why the downward winglets? Is that only a marketing thing?
Probably tip-over guards to protect the propellers. The CoG will be quite high due to the eletrickery in the wings, and the landing gear track is going to be narrow because they've mounted it in ATR-style fuselage blisters, so it would be likely to have interesting ground handling under certain circumstances (e.g. taking high speed exits, crosswind landings if the pilot fails to kick the drift).

Might have some potential as a low cost Maritime Patrol Aircraft for secondary theaters.
It's unlikely to have the range or endurance required for Maritime Patrol. I expect it will go 800 nmi plus minimum reserves and no further. The wing is pretty small & will have lost some volume to the electrickery, so they will probably struggle to stretch the range after the fact unless they re-wing or add external fuel tanks.

Endurance is limited by what looks like relatively high wing loading, which will limit their ability to slow down. This would also increase concern about the birdstrike risk inherent in low level flying over the sea, as the birds have less time to get out of the way & will hit harder.

Also, it appears that it has ATR-style fuselage-mounted main landing gear, which would probably make it difficult to put a weapons bay close to the CoG. The resulting low ground clearance would also preclude fitting a Nimrod-style bay underneath the fuselage pressure vessel without major re-engineering.
 

RLBH

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Looks like it has solar panels on top, which is an interesting idea but I wonder how much power they actually generate. Obviously not enough to power the aircraft, but perhaps a useful proportion of the auxiliary load - or are they just for PR?
 

TomcatViP

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@RLBH :They could be useful on tarmac to lower the power drawn from an (electric?) APU.

@Viper2000: Regarding the canted down winglets and their usage to restrict prop damage on the ground, it seems to me plausible. I was afraid that the negative dihedral added to the upside down winglets would have incurred too much instability in roll (adding trim drag) but obviously, the wing as not such shape in flight (it would flex arcing upward).
Nice finds!
 
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shedofdread

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The down turned winglets may have some relevance to take off. They should increase the CLmax when in ground effect. Out of it and they're not so much use so maybe a styling exercise??? They do look rather 'cool' after all ;)
 

riggerrob

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Dear shedofdread,

We have been discussing ground effect over on www.homebuiltairplanes.com.

While light airplanes start to experience GE below one wing-span from the ground, major benefits only occur one chord-length from the ground/water.
When I was learning to fly a high-winged Cessna 150, I found it challenging to flare (raise the nose) at the correct altitude (above the runway) to arrest rate-of-descent for a soft landing.
OTOH Piper/Cherokee 140's low wing is less than one wing-chord from the ground and almost flares itself.

As for ekranoplans, the wing must be less than one chord-width above the water to produce serious ground effect.

Merely drooping wingtips - close to the water - is not enough to gain the full benefit of ground effect. Boeing tried that on an ekranoplan proposal, but never built it. We assume that Boeing's drooped wing-tips failed in the wind tunnel.
 

shedofdread

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In some of the renderings, there appears to be a fair bit of anhedral. That, coupled with the winglets and whatever cunning vortex manipulation they may (or may not) be doing *could* enhance the effects of adding full - span camber (ailerons down as well as flaps) at take-off.

Whilst I will concede that the following example is within one chord length of the track, a car I used to work on (Brabham BT49) had front wings with down-turned, integrated endplates. When we ran the ones with the endplates, they would flex down enough to abrade the ends of the endplates but another otherwise similar set without endplates stayed pretty level.

Having said all that, my earlier comments re styling still stand. Also, considering that off the top of my head, I can't think of a good reason for the anhedral, it rather bolsters the 'done for style' argument... ;)
 
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