Wright Electric Announces Spirit, 100-Seater All Electric BAe 146 Conversion

US startup Wright Electric (previous coverage) announced at world climate summit COP26 that they intend to retrofit the BAe 146 regional jet airliner into an all-electric version. The BAe 146 aircraft was produced in various versions until 2001 and got it’s fame for low noise and steep approach capabilities, making it suitable for service e.g. in to London City Airport. 387 aircraft were built.

Wright Spirit. Source: Wright Electric

The retrofit would enable a flight time of just one hour or 460 miles. Wright is currently exploring what energy source they’ll focus on. Hydrogen or aluminum fuel cells might be feasible to power their own electric motor in combination with their own inverter.

Jeff Engler, CEO and founder of Wright told Bloomberg News:

“Customers are demanding cleaner options and we want to show there is an alternative,” Engler said. “A retrofit airplane is always going to suffer from disadvantages but at the same time it’s a certified aircraft.”

Source: Bloomberg

The ambitious program aims for an EIS (entry into service) in 2026 and is done in close collaboration with easyJet and VivaAerobus.