The British Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology company, OXIS Energy and Texas Aircraft Manufacturing are developing a sleek and stylish, high-wing, all metal, fully electric aircraft.
Based on Texas Aircraft’s popular Colt S-LSA, the eColt will have a comfortable two-seat cabin. It will fill a growing demand for ecologically-friendly flight training, as well as regional transportation in Brazil and throughout the world. Initially, OXIS projects that the flight time will be in excess of two hours and an approximate range of 200NM.
Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO, OXIS Energy, said, “ OXIS Li-S technology offers significant benefits to aviation. This collaboration between OXIS Energy, Texas Aircraft, and two other forward-thinking Brazilian corporations will put Brazil at the forefront of designing, manufacturing and exporting the electrification of regional aircraft worldwide. The partnership will create highly skilled jobs throughout Brazil, and contribute to major exports both in products, services and expertise.”
Matheus Grande, CEO, Texas Aircraft Manufacturing added, “We feel very proud and truly blessed to be working on this exciting programme with OXIS Energy. The opportunity to be at the forefront of the transformation Brazil’s private aviation to all-electric power is an amazing opportunity. With its wide cabin and exceptionally pilot-friendly flight characteristics, the eColt is going to be a fantastic airplane for flight training and personal transportation in Brazil and around the world.”
The use of Sulfur as a non-conductive material provides enhanced safety and is superior to current Lithium-Ion technology. Its 90kWh battery system, which is 40% lighter than current Li-Ion technology will be powered by its “High Power” cell at 400Wh/kg.
The Colt S-LSA is ideally suited for the training of commercial airline pilots. Despite the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, over the next decade there will be a growing shortage of commercial pilots throughout the world. Free from the high polluting effects of the lead-based fuel used in aircraft today, the all-electric Texas Aircraft eColt will provide an efficient, clean mechanism for new pilots whilst decreasing training costs substantially.
All of the aircraft’s key airframe and power components will be manufactured in Brazil. The aircraft will be designed and developed at the Texas Aircraft Manufacturing facility in Campinas. The Li-S battery cells will be made at the OXIS factory in Juiz de Fora. The powertrain will be supplied by WEG of Jaraguá do Sul. The battery and its Management System (BMS) will be provided by AKAER Group of São José dos Campos.
Why it matters: The development of a fully electric aircraft is the first of its kind in Brazil. On the global stage, other manufacturers have similar vision of retrofitting existing aircraft platforms with modern battery technologies to offer sustainable electric flight. If successful, operators will be able to conduct general aviation flights with a lower cost and environmental impact. The introduction of electric based propulsion on existing fixed wing aircraft is a logical stepping stone to fully fledged implementation of aerial mobility. Its introduction will reveal the excellent economics and reduce environmental impact of electric propulsion over the internal combustion engine.