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."
- The University has also made the University of Salford its first UK higher education partner for a masters degree programme. Salford’s Vice-Chancellor of International and Regional Partnerships, Professor Jo Purves, and Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor Dr. John R. Watret agreed the collaboration on the opening day of the Paris Air Show this week.