A first demonstration flight has taken place between Exeter and Cornwall, highlighting the benefits of sustainable aviation.

The flights, which are being operated by Ampaire, a pioneer in hybrid electric aircraft technology, are part of a series of Government-backed trials aimed at moving the UK towards green aviation.

The flights are being flown by Ampaire’s electric EEL technology aircraft. The EEL, a modified US-built six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster, features a battery-powered electric motor at the front and conventional combustion engine at the rear, enabling a reduction in emissions and operating costs by as much as 30%.

The aircraft will fly between Exeter and Cornwall Airport Newquay airports, 85 miles apart, on a combination of battery and piston power, collecting valuable data to monitor fuel savings, efficiency and noise.

Dr Susan Ying, Ampaire’s senior VP for global operations, said: “Low-emission aircraft are vitally needed on short haul regional routes to meet the UK’s net-zero objective for aviation. We are developing commercial aircraft now that will begin this revolution in sustainable aviation with service entry planned for 2024.”

Cornwall Airport Newquay MD, Pete Downes, added: “We’re passionate about being part of the solution in terms of the sustainable future of aviation and are incredibly proud to be partnering with Ampaire in this exciting project.

“At a time when demand for domestic regional travel is stronger than ever, it’s vital we work together to find the most sustainable way to deliver this in the future.”