Dutch company Maeve Aerospace has unveiled its new design for an electric civil aircraft for at least 44 passengers – called Maeve 1. The final design was presented live at the Fokker terminal in The Hague on Thursday, April 13.

Founder and chief executive Jan Willem Heinen described the Maeve 01 as “a serious replacement for aircraft in fossil aviation”. Maeve estimates that within eight years more than 200 million passengers will fly fully electric because rail and road transport cannot offer a full alternative”.

Maeve Aerospace chief financial officer Erwin Koenraads noted the “worldwide demand for a zero-emission civil aircraft” and stressed that only sustainable aircraft can provide a future for civil aviation.

The new aircraft has been modified in some essential ways compared to previous concepts. Among other things, Maeve 01 has a larger battery capacity, enabling longer flights. This gives the aircraft a range of about 460 kilometers or 250 nautical miles, which includes routes between London, Paris and Frankfurt airports. Developments in battery technology will further increase this flying distance. Also, in the new aircraft, the available cabin will be increased by 20%, allowing for an increase in passenger capacity.

Maeve Aerospace’s Chief Technology Officer Martin Nüsseler from Germany presented the new aircraft specifications, which include the addition of a front motor to enable almost silent taxiing as well as the ability for the aircraft to reverse rather than wait for pushback assistance, maximising time on the ground to devote to charging the batteries.

Maeve’s technical team expects to conduct the first test flights in or before 2028. This puts the development of Maeve 01 on track to be into service by commercial airlines in 2030.

Teun Kraaij, founder of Fly with Lucy, a newly-established European operator backed by Air France-KLM Group carrier Transavia via its investment division Transavia Ventures, announced at the launch that the company has signed a letter of intention to purchase the very first Maeve 1 airplane.

Maeve I also received support from Shah Aslam, chief executive of Air Napier, a regional airline based in New Zealand, which is working to reduce carbon on shorter routes. Aslam noted that the airline was in discussions with Maeve Aerospace for solutions for all-electric regional travel.

More detail on the Maeve 1 design and interviews with key personnel will be available in the forthcoming Airline Economics Future of Aviation magazine to be distributed to Airline Economics subscribers and delegates at the Dublin Aviation & Environment Summit. Join the aviation community at the RDS in Dublin from 11 May 2023 to discuss the future of aviation over two days of conference, exhibition and celebration at the second annual Airline Economics Sustainability Awards.