Heart Aerospace has altered its strategy for certifying its ES-19 electric regional airliner to seek EASA CS-25 approval instead of continuing with the CS-23 process it began when it launched the program in 2018. The Swedish company says the decision will reduce the regulatory risk and make it easier to deliver the 19-seater to the U.S. market, where it holds provisional orders for up to 300 aircraft from United Airlines and its regional affiliate Mesa.
The European CS-25 rules are closely aligned with the FAA’s 14 CFR Part 25 standards, reducing the burden for Heart to secure concurrent type certification on both sides of the Atlantic. By contrast, aircraft certified under 14 CFR Part 23 rules are not cleared for scheduled commercial airline operations.
In July 2021, United Airlines and Mesa joined Breakthrough Energy Ventures in supporting a Series A funding round for Heart. The manufacturer has not disclosed the terms of the provisional sales agreement reached with the U.S. carriers or confirmed whether these now constitute firm orders backed by deposits.
The Gothenburg-based start-up aims to bring the ES-19 to market in 2026. Last year, Finnair signed a letter of intent covering deliveries of 20 of the aircraft, which is expected to operate on routes of up to around 250 miles.
“The ES-19 started small as a niche product for the Nordic market, but it turns out it has a much more global appeal,” said Heart Aerospace founder and CEO Anders Forslund. “To reach a broader market, we are now taking this big step forward.”
In November 2021, Heart announced that Aernnova will jointly design and develop the ES-19 with its engineering team. The Spanish aerostructures group will work on designs for the wing, fuselage, and empennage.
The aircraft will feature an aluminum airframe with retractable landing gear, a high wing, a T-shaped empennage, and a non-cylindrical fuselage that Heart said will maximize cabin space. Heart has already demonstrated an initial version of its proposed electric propulsion system, which incorporates a 400-kW electric motor, lithium-ion batteries, and a motor controller.
The company said it will announce further details of its certification plans during a “hangar day” event in Gothenburg on September 15.