Electric Aircraft Set to Take Flight by 2026
United Airlines Ventures (UAV), along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines, has made an investment in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. Heart Aerospace is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade.
In addition to UAV’s investment, United Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, once the aircraft meet United’s safety, business and operating requirements. Mesa Airlines, United’s key strategic partner in bringing electric aircraft into commercial service, has also agreed to add 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet, subject to similar requirements.
UAV and BEV are among the first investors in Heart Aerospace, creating potential for Heart to fast track the ES-19 introduction to market as early as 2026.
By utilizing electric motors instead of jet engines, and batteries instead of jet fuel, Heart’s ES-19 aircraft will have zero operational emissions. Seating 19 passengers, the ES-19 aircraft will also be larger than any of its all-electric competitors and will be designed to operate on the same types of batteries used in electric cars.
Once operational, the ES-19 could operate on more than 100 of United’s regional routes out of most of its hubs. Some of these routes include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Purdue University Airport (LAF) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Modesto City-County Airport (MOD).