A regional concept that seeks to go global? This is precisely what Heart should be all about. Heart is a newly started Swedish electric aviation company that builds electric passenger aircraft for regional transport. Even though it is new and fresh, it has quickly made a name for itself in the world renowned startup accelerator Y Combinator where prospective startups come to seek glory and attention from the eyes of top executives. The CEO, Anders Forslund, marked this inclusion into the Y Combinator as a stepping stone for further cooperation in related fields. “The cooperation with Y combinator means that we can accelerate the work of developing electric aircraft in Sweden,” says Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart [Source: MyNewsDesk]
The aircraft – rethinking the way we look at planes. . .
Heart’s first aircraft, the ES-19, will be able to take 19 passengers and be able to fly distances up to 400 km on batteries, which enough to operate a third of domestic traffic in Sweden. When can we expect it to be ready? The goal is for the aircraft to be certified for passenger traffic in 2025. Anders Forslund also made some interesting comments about the vision for the future. “Our vision is to build the fastest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly means of transport for regional transport, and export it to all corners of the world”. Remember that when it comes to aviation, the figures about carbon dioxode emissions seem to be forgotten. Aviation accounts for 2.7% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and short-haul flights make up 40% of these emissions. By starting with the very short distances over 400 km, which is 14% of all flights globally and one third of all air travel in Sweden, Heart has found an early market for the electric aircraft. As batteries get better, longer flights with larger aircraft will be possible. Mr. Forslund is optimistic.
“In ten years, almost all short-haul flights will be a stopover with electric flights. But already we can build an early market for domestic flights in Sweden and Norway, and at the same time increase accessibility in Sweden ”.
As we know, implementing greener energy has been a trend in Sweden and Scandinavia as a whole, but what’s so special about Heart’s tech to make it happen?
“If you only get rid of carbon dioxide emissions, aircraft are an extremely resource-efficient way of transporting people. Our aircraft carries the corresponding four Tesla batteries and with these batteries our flight can transport about a hundred people across the country every day. By electrifying the aircraft, we can completely remove the emissions, and thereby create a new type of sustainable travel ”. Accordingly, the next step is to build a 48-seat aircraft on the same platform.
The Eliseproject: Majestic origins and a huge collaborative effort – Is this what has made it successful?
The company Heart is derived from the Vinnova project “Elise – Electric Air Transport in Sweden”, a collaboration between the prestigious universities: Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Luleå University of Technology, Uppsala University and RISE, as well as the companies Heart Aerospace, Abtery, Elitkomposit and Icarus Simulation. SAAB and GKN Aerospace as well as Swedavia, LFV and Svenska Flygbranschen are on the project’s advisory board. The CEO, Anders Forslund, was himself was one of the principal players in the initiative when he worked as a researcher at Chalmers.
The goal of Elise is to create a Swedish electric aviation industry, supported by research, to develop electric aircraft adapted for Swedish needs. ”We have built up a fantastic consortium in the Eliseproject, where we gathered the best expertise in Sweden around both aerospace and battery technology. But in order to build an aircraft, we need large private investments, and therefore I applied to Y combinator. According to Anders, the Swedish aerospace industry is world-wide: “We are one of a handful of countries in the world who on their own developed both civil and combat aircraft flying today, in a country of ten million inhabitants”. He is right, there is definitely something in the air in Sweden that has allowed it to produce at such a level. On a personal level, from being a researcher at Chalmers to having now signed $1.6 billion in letters of intent with aerospace companies is a spectacular journey. You read that right, $1.6 billion, and he also has a P.H.D in aircraft design, perhaps it is this passion that has made the difference?
But this is not the end of their level of support as other Scandinavian companies have been generally supportive of their activities. Some of those include the airlines SAS, BRA and Widerøe. The information that is publicly available suggests that Heart’s Es-19 is something to watch out for in the coming years, especially with such an early range of support both from Silicon Valley and from giants in Scandinavia.
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