LONDON – Pratt & Whitney Canada taps a Swiss electric plane maker, H55, to supply its battery systems for the company’s electrification drive.
H55 will support P&WC on its flagship regional hybrid-electric battery program. The National Research Council Canada and Quebec Innovative Vehicle Institute will fully support P&WC’s project.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Executive Director of New products and services Jean Thomassin stated that:
“We’re delighted to draw from H55’s technology in the field of aircraft battery systems and collaborate with NRC and IVI on optimizing the design for our hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program.”
He added that “We’re delighted to draw from H55’s technology in the field of aircraft battery systems and collaborate with NRC and IVI on optimizing the design for our hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program.”
This marks the beginning of P&WC to fully move towards a greener path and to commensurate a reduction in CO2 emissions.
The Canadian manufacturing giant targets a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency in today’s current engines installed on regional aircraft.
U.S manufacturer Raytheon a subsidiary of Collins Aerospace will ship in 1-megawatt electric motor for the state-of-the-art hybrid-electric propulsion system.
The hybrid-electric propulsion technology is the kingmaker for P&WC as the project is at its core portfolio in achieving the advancement of the efficiency of aircraft propulsion systems in order to support the aviation’s goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
Moreover, P&WC is also championing the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFS) and hydrogen. This will perfectly complement the company’s portfolio and will seamlessly co-exist with the new hybrid-electric technology.
The National Research Council Canada is also willing to contribute to P&WCs ambitious plans but supports the development of the high-voltage battery sub-systems and their related elements.
Furthermore, the Quebec Innovative Vehicle Institute will also assist in the integration of older aircraft with new technologies, like the marriage of the battery and control systems on the Dash 8 testbed aircraft.
H55 is an off-shoot of the Solar Impulse, the first-ever electric airplane to fly around the world. H55 is already venturing into the Canadian market, where it is working with one of Canada’s largest Seaplane operators, Vanouver-based Harbour Air, to develop the Beaver.
The eBeaver is an electrified version of the DHC-3 de Havilland, the airline’sworkhorse. H55 also develops, modular lightweight propulsion and energy storage systems for aircraft, which will also be introduced in the eBeaver.
The company aims to put the new hybrid-electric propulsion technology for a Dash 8-100 demonstration flight by 2024.
This will be a new era in aircraft refurbishment and retrofitting in the context of clean energy and electrification. The ambitious project is met with approximately C$163 million worth of investment.
This project reminds the industry that older aircraft could be re-upgraded into a cleaner and efficient version of their old self, without the need for manufacturers (OEMs, especially) to build a zero-emission aircraft from a clean sheet of paper.