Four airlines have signed letters of support, which interpret into provisional orders for 20 Maeve 01 aircraft, according to Maeve co-founder and chief commercial officer Joost Dieben, who announced this during a launching ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Delft on April 13. European startup Fly With Lucy and New Zealand-based Air Napier are two of the organisations that have signed the letters of support.

The aeroplane can fly up to 460 km at a cruising speed of 488 km/h and has eight wing-mounted propellers. Additionally, it will produce no emissions, make 40% less noise, and take 35 minutes to fully charge.

The company anticipates upgrading the airliner in 2032 to carry 52 passengers and travel 710 km (383 nautical miles) by 2040 based on advancements in battery technology. It also thinks that in the future it will be able to provide up to 1,200 aircraft.

Maeve 01 is not the first concept for a large electric aircraft, though. A 40-seater hybrid-electric airbus with a 1,000 km range was unveiled in March by LYTE Aviation. The 17-ton LA-44 SkyBus is propelled by a blend of hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), unlike all-electric aircraft.

According to Jan-Willem Heinen, co-founder, and CEO of the company, the Maeve 01 will have operating costs that are 17% lower than those of aircraft like the ATR 42. He continued that it could also be used to revive abandoned flight routes, like Bern to Munich.

Martin Nüsseler, the chief technology officer of Maeve and a former senior engineer with Airbus and Deutsche Aircraft, spoke at the ceremony and offered more details about the interior layout of the aircraft. According to him, the Maeve 01 will have seating for four people across and overhead bins on either side.

The fact that the airliner won’t require a tow truck to reverse from the airport gate is one of its more distinctive and environmentally friendly characteristics. The company said it will also utilise 500 Wh/kg batteries and a transportable DC-DC charging technology from Amprius Technologies in the US. According to Nüsseler, the Maeve 01 uses 30% less energy per passenger than other commercial aircraft because of its innovative design. As the business enters the conceptual design stage, he will now be in charge of both programme management and research and development.


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