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Rolls-Royce Begins Testing Powerful Aviation Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System

It’s not only the automotive industry that is looking for more efficient and less harmful means of propulsion. For years now, the biggest players (and some smaller ones) in the aerospace industry have been looking at ways to advance propulsion means for aircraft and why not, even spacecraft.
Rolls-Royce starts testing most powerful hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion system 5 photos
Rolls-Royce starts testing most powerful hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion systemRolls-Royce starts testing most powerful hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion systemRolls-Royce starts testing most powerful hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion systemRolls-Royce starts testing most powerful hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion system
In this industry, one seldom gets any bigger than Rolls-Royce. The company is presently engaged in several projects that should reshape aerial transportation in the years to come. We’ve already talked about the Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft, or the world’s largest aero engine, the UF001, but Rolls is also developing something it describes as “the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace.”

Developed as a powertrain for future regional aircraft, the technology is currently in early testing stages. The thing’s first elements, including the specialist controls, thermal management system, and a system integration generator are on the bench at a facility in the UK, the same place where the engines of the Army Air Corps Apache and Royal Navy Merlin helicopters have been put through their paces.

The propulsion system is developed as part of the 2.5 megawatt Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator program. Later this year, the company plans to test a fully operational generator and a 3,000-volt power electronics system, both currently being assembled at the Rolls facility in Norway.

After that, the ground testing should begin. The exact details of the finished system are unknown, but Rolls-Royce says the resulting generator will be used as part of a more-electric system designed for larger aircraft.

There is no date set for when the system should be finished. Still, the company’s director for aerospace technology, Alan Newby, claims it should be “ground-breaking in the world of aviation” when ready, not only in terms of performance but also sustainability.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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