World’s first hybrid-electric turboprop aircraft under development

World’s first hybrid-electric turboprop aircraft under development

Technology News |
The world’s leading aircraft makers are backing the development of a battery system for the next generation of electric aircraft engines.
By Rich Pell


Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, GE Aviation and Textron are backing the development by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida that aims to produce a large hybrid electric jet by 2035.

The Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC) is working with the Argonne National Laboratory on a prototype 600 SHP turboprop engine that uses battery packs as the power source.

The conceptual design has been developed and the project is now designing the motor, battery packs and battery management systems. The next phase is for the design of the prototype engine and associate systems, increasing ground test facility capabilities, manufacturing and testing the prototype motor.

“The confluence of modern controls, batteries and the overhaul of the regulatory landscape make this the right time to design the air vehicles of the future,” said Dr. Richard “Pat” Anderson, EFRC Director and Professor of Aerospace Engineering and the lead for the consortium.

The project aims to produce a commercially viable, nine-passenger hybrid turboprop by 2025, and a large hybrid-electric jet by 2035.

“Airplanes have looked fundamentally the same for the past 115 years,” said Anderson. “This consortium is a catalyst to move the aviation – and the entire transportation – industry into a new and excitingly different design space.”

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