LONDON – British powertrain manufacturing giant Rolls Royce is now venturing into the Advance Air Mobility unit. The company recently revealed its plan to develop a turbogenerator technology, which will be used for future air mobilities.
Rolls Royce is committed to chipping in its know-how technology and expertise into the powertrain market by announcing its plans to venture into the hybrid-electric components in new smaller engines of the eVTOLs. This is made possible by Rolls Roye’s decade-long experience in engine manufacturing.
This system will also include Rolls-Royce electric propulsion, which will aid the reduction in fuel consumption and also support the use of SAF (sustainable aviation fuel). At a later stage, the manufacturer plans to integrate hydrogen combustion into the power train equation.
With present technological capabilities, a 100% e-propulsion means the eVTOL and electric fixed wings are viable only for short-haul flights, such as commuter and regional routes.
This is suitable for places like the Caribbean, whereby airports are scattered within a scalable distance. Island-hopping in Northern Scotland and also Norway is also a location appropriate for such operations.
With Rolls Royce’s aid in developing the turbogenerator technology, this will mean newer powertrains for the eVTOLs or drones will be supplied with 500kW and 1200kW batteries respectively. This means the range and the MTOW (Max Take-Off Weight) could be drastically increased.
Rob Watson, President of Rolls Royce Electrical, said: “Rolls-Royce will be the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems for Advanced Air Mobility and will scale this technology over time to larger platforms.”
“I would like to thank the German Government for their support. As part of our strategy, we are looking at offering a complete sustainable solution for our customers.”
“This means extending routes that electric flight can support through our turbogenerator technology. This will advance hybrid-electric flight and mean more passengers will be able to travel further on low to net zero emissions aircraft”
Watson added: “Rolls-Royce is also set to build on our existing network to offer maintenance services for electrical systems. Furthermore, Rolls-Royce Power Systems is able to offer microgrid solutions to support fast-charging of electric aircraft and deliver reliable, cost-effective, climate-friendly and sustainable power to vertiports.”
The new turbogenerator engines will be developed by experts based in Norway, Hungary and Germany. Customers are assured of the safe usage of such products developed by Rolls Royce.
This new powertrain is in fact partially supported by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
The move from Rolls Royce shows how committed the airline is to make the aviation community greener and more efficient by expanding its knowledge and expertise to the Advance Air Mobility segment.
The manufacturer has also announced its vision for its product to become net zero by 2050.