NASA and industry partners unveil hybrid aircraft paint schemes

Render of NASA industry partners hybrid electric aircraft.
Image Credit: NASA
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

GE Aerospace and magniX have revealed the paint schemes of the hybrid electric aircraft they will fly as part of NASA’s Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EFPD) project.

In this new collaboration, GE Aerospace and magniX have teamed with NASA as part of the Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project. The initiative aims to develop and test hybrid electric aircraft, bringing us closer to a cleaner, more sustainable future for aviation.

The vision of EPFD

Under the EPFD project, GE Aerospace is spearheading the development of a powerful megawatt-class hybrid electric powertrain, intended for both ground and flight testing. This ambitious endeavor aims to pave the way for innovative aviation solutions in the middle of this decade.

GE Aerospace and Boeing collaboration

To support the flight tests, GE Aerospace has joined forces with Boeing and its subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences. Together, they will work on integrating the hybrid electric powertrain into a modified Saab 340B aircraft.

The flight test campaigns will be conducted at Aurora Flight Sciences’ facilities, based in Manassas, Virginia.

magniX and its partners

Simultaneously, magniX, a leader in electric aviation propulsion, is partnering with AeroTEC and Air Tindi for its demonstration. The focus is on testing their hybrid powertrain on a modified DeHavilland “Dash 7” aircraft.

The flight test campaigns will be based out of the AeroTEC Flight Test Center in Moses Lake, Washington.


Adoption of hybrid propulsion systems

Both industry partnerships are integral to the success of the EPFD project. Their combined expertise will ensure seamless integration of the electric aircraft propulsion systems into the flight demonstrators.

Additionally, they will contribute to the overall design, modification, and execution of the flight tests.

The primary objective of EPFD is to hasten the adoption of hybrid propulsion systems with megawatt levels of power.

The aim is to implement these technologies in short-haul turboprop aircraft, accommodating 30-70 passengers, as well as regional single-aisle commercial airliners, capable of carrying up to 180 passengers.

Moreover, EPFD seeks to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of hybrid-electric aircraft by informing the development of new standards. These standards will guide the creation of next-generation, eco-friendly aviation solutions.

The promise of EAP technologies

Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) technologies hold immense potential to revolutionize aviation. By enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing harmful emissions, EAP systems offer a cleaner and greener alternative for the industry.

The positive environmental impact is expected to be substantial, making aviation more sustainable for generations to come.

NASA’s commitment

NASA’s dedication to this cause is evident in its plan to conduct at least two flight demonstrations within the next five years. By doing so, they aim to introduce EAP systems to the U.S. commercial fleet between 2030 and 2035.

This ambitious timeline emphasizes NASA’s resolve to drive change and embrace a greener future for aviation.

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