Mokulele Airlines could become the first commercial operation to use hybrid planes
It seems like a futuristic concept, an electric-powered plane. That concept could soon become a reality for passengers flying on Mokulele Airlines.
California based developer, Ampaire recently partnered with the inter-island carrier. Its currently building an electric plane that operates similar to a hybrid car with motors powered by gas and electric.
"We're actually retrofitting the rear engine and putting an electric motor there. So from kind of the outside you wouldn't be able to tell the only way you would tell is kind of when both engines are running it's much quieter," Brice Nzeukou of Ampaire said.
The electric powered cessna is set to be tested on Maui this fall, it's projected to slash fuel operating costs by 70% which could eventually lead to lower air fare.
"We're really hoping that this technology can really connect communities and have a downward pressure on cost of travel I making problem more accessible for a lot of people," Nzeukou said.
Mokulele is thrilled and is hoping the cutting edge plane will be a game changer in Hawaii's inter-island commercial industry.
"The opportunity to get rid of burning combustion fuels it's a great opportunity where we can be a more green airline," President of Mokulele Airlines Rob Mckinney said.
If tests are successful, Mokulele could open hybrid electric flights to customers in 2021.