EasyJet has taken “crucial steps forward” towards operating zero-emission aircraft after its partner on the project successfully tested a more powerful motor.
Wright Electric has tested a two-megawatt electric powertrain motor – said to be the “most powerful electric propulsion motor of its kind” currently in development
The US-based company has been working with easyJet on the concept of a zero-emission single-aisle aircraft since 2017 and has announced plans for a new laboratory and testing site as it continues its work.
The news follows the successful testing of Wright’s “next-generation” inverter technology earlier this year.
Wright will now launch the next phase of its plans - which include testing within a high altitude chamber and gathering data for future aircraft certification.
Eventually, Wright will use 10 two-megawatt motors on its Wright 1 aircraft – generating as much power as an A320 Airbus that easyJet operates today.
It hopes to being flight testing as early as 2023.
David Morgan, director of flight operations at easyJet, said the airline “remains committed to more sustainable flying” and that it was aware zero-emission technology "is where the solution lies for the industry”.
Wright chief executive, Jeff Engler, added the company had “real momentum in our programme” and was “on track to deliver” on its plans.