'Innovative' electric planes take off from Newquay airport

  • Watch Richard Lawrence's report here.

A hybrid-electric aircraft is set to fly between Cornwall and Devon as part of a new project to develop sustainable, electric aircraft around the UK.

The test programme between Newquay and Exeter was first announced in March, with Cornwall Airport in Newquay later confirmed as the take-off site.

The flights will be operated by US Company Ampaire, who have also operated similar flights in Scotland.

If successful, it is hoped the project - which has received £30million worth of funding - will help to reduce emissions.

The flight between Newquay and Exeter is around 80 miles. Credit: Ampaire.

Graeme Scrimgeour, commercial estates manager at Cornwall Airport Newquay, said previously: “Cornwall Airport Newquay is proud to be part of the team developing electric regional aircraft that aim to be carbon neutral.

“By basing an electric aircraft at Cornwall Airport Newquay, part of the energy used to charge the aircraft batteries will be generated by the adjacent solar farm owned by Cornwall Council.

"The airport already benefits from using solar energy and this is the next logical step towards greener flight in the UK."

Speaking at the launch, Susan Ying from Ampaire said the hope is flights will soon be able to operate from regional airports across the UK.

Baron Callanan was at the launch as the electric plane took off from Newquay

"If you can scale this up for more seats in the future, it will mean that you can serve these regional airports for shorter journeys really well," she said.

"It will let people fly point to point really so efficiently so it will be operating at a competitive price range."

Baron Martin Callanan, the Business Minister, was at the launch and said the new innovative flight path would be fantastic for regional travel.

"Nobody is pretending we will be flying over the Atlantic any time soon but for short hops between two regional airports this is absolutely ideal," he said.