Around the world, the move to more electric technologies is driving a more sustainable future. And in the skies, it’s no different. As a leader in electric systems, Collins is continuously investing in technologies that help reduce fuel burn and the resulting emissions through a more electric aircraft and hybrid-electric propulsion.

More electric systems

By replacing traditional hydraulic and pneumatic systems with electric systems, we can reduce bleed air required from the engine and enable greater efficiency and lower fuel consumption. Collins Aerospace has made incredible progress in the development of electric systems – the result of more than $3 billion in investments over the last decade.

The environmental control system is typically the largest power consumer on the aircraft. Collins created the industry’s only bleedless, electric environmental control system for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Bleedless systems can result in up to 3% or more fuel burn savings along with minimizing wasted energy.

We also provide the world’s largest flying micro grid – the 1.5 megawatt Boeing 787 power management and distribution system – along with key systems for the F-35, the most electric combat plane in the skies.

Hybrid-electric / electric propulsion

Assisting gas-powered engines with electric propulsion can go a long way in making the skies more sustainable.

With this in mind, we’ve invested heavily in research and development of hybrid-electric propulsion technologies. We’re working to design and test a 1 megawatt motor, motor controller and battery system – expected to be the aerospace industry’s most power-dense and efficient to date. In 2019, we initiated the build of a state-of-the-art electric systems lab called the GRID in Rockford, Ill. And, in the U.K., we’re working with the University of Nottingham on a 500-kilowatt motor for Hybrid Air Vehicles' Airlander hybrid airship.

Next generation propeller systems

With the support of the French government and local communities, and in collaboration with local industry, Collins Propeller Systems in Figeac, France, has invested $32M to create a new development to design the next generation of propeller systems for turboprop engine-powered aircraft. Turboprop engines may be burning sustainable fuel or hydrogen in the future, or these engines may be replaced with electric engines or hybrid systems that use both fuel and electricity at different times.