Embraer sets the stage for a climate-neutral future. The Brazilian manufacturer is now reporting the maiden flight of its EMB-203 Ipanema electric aircraft, marking the start of a flight test campaign.
With the EMB-203 Ipanema experimental aircraft, Embraer wants to evaluate new technologies and solutions that enable all-electric and therefore sustainable propulsion for flight, according to a press release. It is tested at Embraer in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. During the first flights, performance, control, thermal management and operational safety were evaluated. The goal is to demonstrate flight characteristics under real conditions using computer simulation results, lab tests and integrating technology on the ground, Embraer says. This simulation has been running since the second half of 2019.
The aircraft is based on a scientific and technological collaboration between Embraer and two providers of electric mobility solutions, WEG and EDP. In this collaborative project, an electric drive system from WEG and an EDP-financed battery pack, which is integrated into the EMB-203 Ipanema, were used. According to the manufacturer, the aircraft was the first in the world in 2004 to be certified to run on fuel from renewable sources (ethanol) and to be mass-produced.
“An aircraft’s maiden flight is always an important milestone, and the launch of the first zero-emissions electric aircraft is also an important contribution from our teams and partners in the energy transition,” said Luis Carlos Afonso, Vice President of Engineering. Embraer’s technology development and corporate strategy. “We are committed to finding solutions that enable a more sustainable future for aviation, and innovation will be key along this path.”
Embraer has a technology development program that has made aircraft more efficient and reduced fuel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. “Research into aircraft electrification is part of a broader effort to explore a new generation of renewable energies and the transition to a carbon-neutral future,” the press release states. The insights gained from testing the electric plane will allow Embraer to develop innovative products in line with the company’s search for a sustainable future – this is the case with eVTOL (Electric Vertical Aircraft and Landing), also known as EVA (Electric Helicopters), developed by Eve, Embraer’s mobility company urban air.