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Partially electric airplane makes California test flight

June 7, 2019

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — A California company has conducted a test flight of a hybrid-electric airplane capable of carrying six people.

A pilot and flight engineer flew Ampaire Inc.’s modified Cessna 337 Skymaster over Camarillo Airport on Thursday.

The aircraft normally has two combustion engines, one in front and another at the rear, that turn propellers in a push-pull configuration.

Ampaire has replaced one engine with a battery-powered electric motor.

The company says the result is savings on greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs.

Ampaire aims to supply aircraft to short-haul regional airlines.

It plans to test a pre-production prototype this year on a Maui in partnership with Mokulele Airlines and hopes to achieve commercial operations in 2021.

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