RTX hybrid-electric flight demonstrator is targeting a 30% improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, compared to today’s most advanced regional turboprops.
PARIS, June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- PARIS AIR SHOW -- RTX (NYSE: RTX) has achieved a critical milestone in its hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program, successfully completing a rated power test of the demonstrator's 1 megawatt (MW) electric motor, developed by Collins Aerospace (Collins). The 1MW motor will be combined with a highly efficient thermal engine, developed by Pratt & Whitney, as part of a hybrid-electric propulsion system that aims to demonstrate a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to today's most advanced regional turboprops. Collins and Pratt & Whitney are both business units of RTX.
"With its industry-leading power density and efficiency, our 1MW motor will help to significantly reduce aircraft carbon emissions by supporting hybrid-electric propulsion architectures on the next generation of commercial platforms," said Henry Brooks, president, Power & Controls for Collins Aerospace. "As the motor's development continues apace, each milestone brings us one step closer to hybrid-electric flight and our industry's shared commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."
Compared to Collins' most advanced electric motor generators flying today, the 1MW motor will deliver four times the power and twice the voltage, with half the heat loss and half the weight. The company is developing the motor at Collins' facility in Solihull, United Kingdom, and testing it at the University of Nottingham's Institute for Aerospace Technology.
Following on from the first low speed engine run at a Pratt & Whitney Canada facility in Longueuil, Quebec in December 2022, testing of the combined hybrid-electric propulsion system – including both thermal engine and 1MW motor – will continue through 2023. The propulsion system and batteries will be integrated on a Dash 8-100 experimental aircraft, with flight testing targeted to begin in 2024. The project is supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.
"Hybrid-electric propulsion technology offers significant potential to optimize aircraft efficiency across a range of future aircraft applications and is a key part of our technology roadmap for supporting more sustainable aviation," said Jean Thomassin, executive director new products and services, Pratt & Whitney Canada. "Aside from leveraging the deep expertise of Pratt & Whitney and Collins engineers within RTX, our project draws from extensive collaborations across Canada's aerospace ecosystem and around the world."
In addition to the hybrid-electric flight demonstrator, the 1MW motor will also be part of the Pratt & Whitney GTF™ hybrid-electric powertrain planned for the SWITCH project under the European Union's Clean Aviation initiative. Future testing will be conducted at The Grid, the $50 million electric power systems lab at Collins' Rockford, Illinois, facility slated to open later this year.
About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace is a business of RTX, the largest aerospace and defense company in the world. Our global team of 73,000 employees dreams, designs and delivers smarter, more connected solutions for passenger safety and comfort, mission success, space exploration, and operational efficiency and sustainability. We make the most powerful concepts in aerospace a reality.
About Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. To learn more visit www.prattwhitney.com. To receive press releases and other news directly, please sign up here.
RTX is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. Our global team of 180,000 employees pushes the limits of known science and redefines how we connect and protect our world. We are advancing aviation, building smarter defense systems and creating innovations to take us deeper into space. Effective July 1, the company will complete its realignment into three customer-focused business units — Collins Aerospace, Raytheon and Pratt & Whitney. The company, with 2022 sales of $67 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
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SOURCE Raytheon Technologies