Published on November 28th, 2017 | by James Ayre0
Airbus, Siemens, & Rolls-Royce Collaborating To Develop Hybrid Electric Engine (E-Fan X Program)
November 28th, 2017 by James Ayre
Three of the top aviation engine engineering firms in the world — Airbus, Siemens, and Rolls-Royce — are now collaborating on the development of a hybrid electric aircraft engine, the companies have jointly revealed.
The new program — which has been dubbed E-Fan X — comes as competition in the sector to be the first to market with an electrified plane has begun intensifying. The new collaboration aims to fly a demonstrator aircraft in 2020 after ground tests have concluded. The new hybrid electric aircraft engine will, provisionally, be demonstrated in a BAe 146 aircraft.
“We see hydro-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation,” commented Airbus Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paul Eremenko in a public statement.
Reuters provides more: “Airbus will be responsible for the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls. Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo shaft engine and 2 megawatt (MW) generator, while Siemens will deliver the 2 MW electric motor.”
This news follows pretty closely on the announcement by a Seattle (US) area aviation startup to bring a small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to commercial readiness by 2022. That startup is backed by both the venture capital arm of Boeing and also that of JetBlue Airways. (For more information on that, see: More Launch Details About Zunum Aero Electric Hybrid Planes.)
Presumably, the new public announcement of a partnership between Airbus, Siemens, and Rolls-Royce aiming for a demonstration of new tech by 2020 is related to this earlier announcement.
Of course, we’ve had a lot of stories about electric airplanes this year. Here are some of the recent and hot ones: