One of the world’s most prominent aerospace manufacturers is adding its flight control systems to more electric airplanes.
Heart Aerospace, a Swedish manufacturer of regional electric aircraft, on Monday announced it has tapped aerospace titan Honeywell to install its compact fly-by-wire flight control system on the company’s 30-passenger ES-30.
The system is already in an advanced stage of development on multiple aircraft, including Vertical Aerospace’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Honeywell’s dedicated urban air mobility (UAM) business unit is also partnered with eVTOL makers Archer Aviation, Lilium, Hyundai’s Supernal, and other emerging aircraft manufacturers. Heart’s design, in contrast, takes off conventionally from a runway.
“We are thrilled to welcome Honeywell to the ES-30 program,” said Anders Forslund, co-founder and CEO of Heart. “With its long track record in flight controls, they are an ideal collaboration partner for Heart Aerospace as we strive to decarbonize air travel before the end of this decade.”
Added Vipul Gupta, president of electronic solutions at Honeywell Aerospace: “Honeywell’s flight controls provide the ideal solution for Heart’s mission to revitalize and electrify the regional transport market. Honeywell’s all-electric compact fly-by-wire is a ready-now solution based on decades of flight control experience in all aircraft types, and that reduces development time and risk for Heart.”
Heart’s ES-30 has a 30-passenger standard seating capacity and is driven by four electric motors powered by batteries. In its fully electric, zero-emissions configuration, it has a range of about 124 sm (108 nm), doubling to around 248 sm (215 nm) in hybrid-electric mode. The aircraft also has a maximum range of 497 sm (432 nm) with 25 passengers. Each configuration includes typical airline reserves.
The electric design features a Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck, battery systems from BAE Systems, and an electrical power distribution system made by Crane Aerospace & Electronics. It’ll be certificated under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) CS-25 large aeroplanes category.
Heart is backed by a $35 million Series A funding round led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a consortium of billionaire backers including Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and other CEOs, venture capitalists, and politicians.
The round also included United Airlines Ventures, the airline’s investment arm, and Mesa Air Group, which together placed purchase orders for 200 ES-19 aircraft with the option for 100 more. The ES-19 was a 19-passenger that was replaced by the ES-30 in 2022, but Heart reconfirmed United and Mesa’s orders for the new design.
Air Canada and Saab—each of which invested $5 million into the company—are on board as minority shareholders, and the former also placed an order for 30 ES-30s. Heart said it now has 250 firm ES-30 orders with options and purchase rights awarded for 120 more.
The aircraft is expected to enter service in 2028, around the time the FAA seeks to host advanced air mobility (AAM) demonstrations in the skies over Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic Games. Archer, whose aircraft uses Honeywell flight control actuation technology, is expected to feature.