Sweden’s Heart Aerospace is developing a 19-seat electric aircraft which will be capable of flying customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade.
The startup’s chief investors are United Airlines Ventures (UAV), Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines. All three companies have welcomed Heart’s design and are fast tracking the ES-19 introduction to aviation markets as early as 2026.
According to a United Airlines’ press release, the company has agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft once it meets United’s safety, business and operating requirements.
Mesa Airlines – United’s key strategic partner in bringing electric aircraft into commercial service – too will be adding 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet under similar guidelines.
United has set its sights on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050 without relying on traditional carbon offsets; backing Heart Aerospace and its emissions-reducing aircraft is one way of reaching that goal.
Heart’s ES-19 aircraft offers zero operational emissions as it utilizes electric motors instead of jet engines, and batteries instead of jet fuel.
By seating 19 passengers, the ES-19 aircraft will be larger than any of its all-electric competitors. It has been designed to operate on the same types of batteries used in electric cars.
Once functional, the ES-19 could operate on more than 100 of United’s regional routes out of most of its hubs.
These include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Purdue University Airport (LAF) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Modesto City-County Airport (MOD).
“Electric aircraft are happening now – the technology is already here,” says Heart Aerospace CEO Anders Forslund.
“We couldn’t be prouder to be partnering with United, Mesa and BEV on taking our ES-19 aircraft to market. I can’t imagine a stronger coalition of partners to advance our mission to electrify short-haul air travel.”
UAV president Michael Leskinen believes that the short-haul regional air travel market will play a key role in the evolution of the electric aircraft.
“As battery technology improves, larger-gauge aircraft should become viable but we’re not going to wait to begin the journey,” contends Leskinen.
“That’s why we’re looking forward to beginning our work with Heart, so that, together, we can scale the availability of electric airliners and use them for passenger flights within the next five years.”
Image and content: Heart Aerospace/United Airlines Ventures