Norwegian Airline Widerøe to partner with Rolls-Royce on zero-emissions aviation program

©Widerøe Dash8-Q400

With the Norwegian government aiming for zero emissions domestic aviation by 2040 and Scandinavian airline Widerøe, hoping to ‘electrify’ its current regional fleet of approaching forty Dash-8 aircraft by 2030, the announcement of a joint research program between the airline and engine maker Rolls-Royce at a Clean Aerospace event at the British Embassy is a further notable step towards such targets.

The aim of the program will be to develop an electrical aircraft concept. Rolls-Royce’s comprehensive electrical and systems design experience will see them able to advise on all aspects of the concept. The first phase, which is already underway, involves operational studies and concept proofing. The research is being supported by the Norwegian Government and Innovation Norway, and the Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, who has on several occasions put forward the suitability of the Norwegian STOL network as a test bench for the development of zero-emissions aircrafts. “We are aiming to have emission-free commercial flights in the air by 2030. Partnering with Rolls-Royce for this research programme puts us one step closer to reaching that goal,” said Andreas Aks, Chief Strategy Officer, Widerøe. Alan Newby, Director, Aerospace Technology & Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce added, “We’re delighted to be part of this electrical aircraft research program and applaud the high level of ambition that Norway is adopting toward zero-emissions aviation.”

The joint program is expected to last for 2 years. “The development of electric aviation looks promising, but we need to progress faster. We are therefore pleased to have the world’s most renowned engine manufacturer onboard with us on this pioneering green journey” said Andreas Aks, Chief Strategy Officer at Widerøe.

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