Dovetail Electric Aviation has been awarded a A$3 million ($2 million) grant from the Australian government to fund its efforts to convert turbine-powered aircraft to full-electric power.
Announced on 19 January, the funding will be used to “develop, test and certify” the conversion programme, says Australia’s Ministry for Industry and Science.
Awarded under Canberra’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects initiative, the grant will see Dovetail collaborate with the government’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation, the University of New South Wales, and industry partners Sydney Seaplanes and engineering firm Memko.
Dovetail is a joint venture between Spain’s Dante Aeronautical and Sydney Aviation Holdings, the owner of Sydney Seaplanes. It has also attracted investment from Australian regional carrier Rex Group, which will provide an aircraft to serve as a conversion testbed.
Spanish carriers Air Nostrum and Volotea have also taken a minority stake in the business through a December 2022 investment in Dante.
To date, Dovetail’s efforts have focussed on conversion of the Cessna Grand Caravan to run on full-electric power; service entry is anticipated in 2025. A follow-on project involving a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Beechcraft King Air is also planned.
“Electric aviation has the potential to be a game-changer for regional transport as Australia pushes to meet our emissions targets,” says Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science.
Dovetail chief executive David Doral adds: “We are honoured to be selected as one of the recipients of this highly competitive grant. This funding will allow us to continue to push the boundaries of electric aviation and bring our vision of a more sustainable future for the industry closer to reality.”