20 November, 2023

Wright Electric and CT Axter Aerospace successfully complete maiden flight of 800 kW hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft

Wright Electric and Axter Aerospace, leading innovators in electric aircraft technology,
are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the maiden flights of their hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft, boasting 800 kW of combined shaft horsepower. This remarkable achievement marks a significant milestone in the companies’ commitment to revolutionizing the aviation industry and reducing its environmental footprint. Wright also announced that its industry-leading electric propulsion unit has achieved 1.2 megawatts (MW) of peak shaft horsepower and 1.1 MW continuous power output.

The hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft is the result of a collaborative effort between Wright Electric and its Spanish partner, Axter Aerospace. As they work together to refine the hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft, they are setting a new standard for environmentally responsible aerial agricultural and skydiving operations.

Key Highlights of the Hybrid-Electric Crop Duster Aircraft:

- 800 kW of Shaft Horsepower: The aircraft features a powerful electric propulsion system with 800 kW of combined shaft horsepower between the turbine engine and electric motor, offering unprecedented performance in the crop dusting industry.

- Environmentally Friendly: By leveraging electric propulsion, this aircraft significantly reduces emissions, ensuring a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional crop dusters.

- Comprehensive Sub-Component Testing: The test aircraft will be used to evaluate and refine critical sub-components such as inverters, motors, and batteries, advancing the technology and reliability of electric aviation systems.

Key Highlights of the Electric Propulsion Unit:

- 2 MW Electric Propulsion Unit: Designed to decarbonize the regional jet and large turboprop sectors.

- 10 kW/kg Power Density: Industry leading compact size and light weight.

- Tested to 1.2 MW: Building on Wright’s announcement of achieving 1 MW at the Paris Air Show in June, now Wright has achieved 1.2 MW peak output and 1.1 MW continuous output.

Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric, stated, "The successful maiden flight of our hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft marks a significant step forward in our mission to transform the aviation industry. We are excited about the possibilities that this technology presents and are grateful for our partnership with CT Axter Aerospace, which has been instrumental in making this project a reality."

Miguel Suarez, CEO of Axter Aerospace, added, "Our collaboration with Wright Electric signifies our commitment to pioneering environmentally responsible solutions in agricultural aviation. The hybrid-electric crop duster aircraft is a testament to our shared vision of creating cleaner, more sustainable alternatives for the future of agricultural operations. Together, we're redefining what's possible in the industry."

Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at easyJet, said, “Not only will this be a monumental move for the agricultural sector, but successes like these are important for the aviation industry as a whole as we continue our work to develop and deploy a suite of technology solutions to decarbonize.“

Wright Electric and Axter Aerospace are proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the aviation sector. This achievement is a testament to their dedication to advancing electric aviation and meeting the evolving needs of the industry. It also underlines their joint commitment to creating cleaner and more sustainable solutions for agriculture.