Explorer Aircraft is developing a next-generation high-efficiency utility aircraft, designed by award-winning engineers Graham Swannell and John Roncz. The aircraft is designed to replace the tens of thousands of more than half-century old utility aircraft still in service globally.
“Explorer Aircraft is thrilled to have magniX, the leading electric aircraft propulsion manufacturer, on board the Explorer Program.” said CEO Bryan Lynch. “No one else has done as much to push the profile and reality of electric aircraft in our industry.”
Lynch continued, “It is critical that we work together to develop a viable replacement for the thousands of obsolete, inefficient aircraft in service all over the world. This is only possible working together with the best, leading-edge suppliers. magniX is a perfect fit for us.”
“We are thrilled to be powering the next generation of utility aircraft,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “The new Explorer aircraft offers operators a real path to cleaner flying be it for passengers or cargo.”
Explorer Aircraft planes are designed for powerplant options of battery, electric hybrid, fuel cell and future autonomous flight systems. “Through a combination of high efficiency aerodynamics, composite materials technology, and inclusion of leading technology suppliers and developers in the design process we are future-proofing our aircraft,” Lynch added.
Explorer has been developing the turboprop engine version of its all-composite single engine light-utility aircraft, designed to carry more than 4000 lb of cargo and fly almost 1500 miles.
Explorer retained Scion Aviation LLC to do a firewall-forward install of a PT6a-140a engine and new all electric power for landing gear and flaps. Scion Aviation is known for its expertise in carbon-fiber prototyping and manufacturing tooling development.
The prototype aircraft offer a unique landing gear system and advanced wing design that provides for maximum fuel efficiency and superior low speed handling.
FAA-approved flight testing of the prototype will begin with a 40-hour flight program that will demonstrate the aircraft platform’s integrity and flight characteristics. The aircraft’s performance capabilities, such as minimum takeoff and landing distances, fuel consumption, and flight characteristics will be determined with the revised systems.