Collins Aerospace produces first prototype 500KW electric motor for Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander 10 aircraft

  • New sustainable electric propulsion technologies will advance aviation industry’s efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
  • Collins is developing 500KW motor as part of a family of electric motors that can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of potential applications across multiple aircraft segments
FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW (July 20, 2022) – Collins Aerospace has produced the first working prototype of its 500 kilowatt electric motor suitable for the Airlander 10 aircraft under a partnership with Hybrid Air Vehicles and the University of Nottingham. Collins has begun basic characterization testing of the motor at the University of Nottingham.

For the 2,000 RPM permanent magnet electric motor, Collins is targeting specific power density levels of 9 kilowatts per kilogram and 98% efficiency through the use of a novel motor topology and composite construction. Collins is designing the motor at its Electronic Controls and Motor Systems Center of Excellence in Solihull, UK, where it’s also developing its 1 megawatt electric motor and motor controller for the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) regional hybrid-electric flight demonstrator. The two motors are part of Collins’ technology roadmap for the development of a family of electric motors that can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of various hybrid-electric and all-electric applications across multiple aircraft segments.

Airlander 10 is scheduled to begin hybrid-electric operation in 2026, followed by all-electric, zero-emission operation in 2030. To achieve this, the aircraft’s four fuel-burning engines will be replaced by Collins’ 500 kilowatt electric motors—beginning with the two forward engines in 2026 and the two rear engines in 2030.

“With a goal of becoming the world’s first zero-emission aircraft, Airlander 10 is blazing a trail in the development of sustainable electric propulsion systems,” said Marc Holme, senior director, Electronic Controls and Motor Systems for Collins Aerospace. “Collins is working closely with Hybrid Air Vehicles and the University of Nottingham to turn this goal into a reality, while at the same time developing new technologies that will advance the aviation industry’s efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“The development of electric motors for Airlander 10, with Collins Aerospace and the University of Nottingham, is a crucial part of our pathway towards a future of passenger and freight transport that produces zero emissions,” said Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles. “It is great to see the programme develop with the different organisations working in unison to deliver the right electric motor for the job.”

E-HAV1 is co-funded by the ATI Programme, a joint UK Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK's competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. It is delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Innovate UK to address technology, capability, and supply chain challenges.

“This important project milestone demonstrates innovative technology from the UK that will deliver critical capability for the electrification of aviation,” said Mark Scully, Head of Technology for Advanced Systems & Propulsion at the Aerospace Technology Institute. “It aligns with the zero-carbon focus in the ATI’s Destination Zero strategy, and positions Collins in the UK for the scaling of high-performance electric motors for future commercial aircraft platforms.”

About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business, is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Collins Aerospace has the extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit CollinsAerospace.com.

About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind Airlander technology. Their first production aircraft, Airlander 10, will deliver up to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared to other aircraft in its various roles, before attaining zero emissions by 2030. The company’s vision is to be the future of zero-emissions aviation. It expects Airlander to be the first large scale aircraft (capable of carrying up to 100 passengers or 10 tonnes) to achieve zero emissions flight. The production standard aircraft is expected to be in service in 2026. The Airlander family of aircraft serve customers in mobility, logistics, experiential travel, and communications & surveillance. Please visit HAV's website for more information.

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