Rolls-Royce Joins Forces with Tecnam, Widerøe on Electric Model

The project plans a commuter version for debut in 2026.

An artist’s rendition of the projected update to the Tecnam P2012 Traveller, the P-Volt, flying over the coast of Norway under Widerøe’s livery.Tecnam Aircraft/Rolls-Royce/Widerøe

Rolls-Royce and Tecnam Aircraft have joined efforts to produce an electric version of the P2012 Traveller commuter/utility aircraft, with plans to debut the new version in 2026. The partnership collaborates with Scandinavian airline Widerøe to ready the airplane for commercial service within Widerøe’s current network in Norway. The program builds on the existing agreement between Tecnam, Rolls-Royce, and Rotax to develop the H3PS parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for its single-engine P2010. The Traveller, which was first delivered in October 2019, will eventually transform into an all-electric airplane, the P-Volt.

Rolls-Royce and Widerøe have been working together on a research project that launched in 2019 to determine the feasibility of using the powerplant manufacturer’s electric-propulsion systems in aircraft optimized for the airline’s regional route structure. Widerøe executes approximately 400 daily flights between 44 airports—and because of the nature of Norway’s rugged topography and multiple islands, 74 percent of these flights have a distance of less than 275 km. The airline plans to use the anticipated P-Volt update to the 11-seat Traveller for its short-takeoff-and-landing capability.

Rob Watson, director for Rolls-Royce Electrical, said, “Electrification will help us deliver our ambition to enable the markets in which we operate achieve net zero carbon by 2050.” It’s an ambitious goal, but aligns with current efforts underway across Europe and the US to evolve towards sustainable aviation in the next 30 years.

Andreas Aks, chief strategy officer, Widerøe, expressed optimism for the program’s goals. “We are highly excited to be offered the role as launch operator, but also humble about the challenges of putting the world’s first zero emissions aircraft into service,” said Aks. “Our mission is to have all new capabilities, processes and procedures required for a zero-emissions operator, designed and approved in parallel with the aircraft being developed and certified.”

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