Latest News | 21 June 2023

Rolls-Royce ready to test engine for hybrid-electric flight

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Rolls-Royce has announced it is ready to test a new engine, which has been specifically developed to power hybrid-electric flight.

The engineering giant, which has its civil aerospace division in Derby, has developed a new small gas turbine engine, which is part of a turbo generator system that is being developed for the advanced air mobility market.

This includes electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for urban air mobility and commuter aircraft applications up to 19 seats.

The turbo generator system will complement the Rolls-Royce electrical propulsion portfolio by delivering an on-board power source, enabling extended range on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and later, as it becomes available, through hydrogen combustion.

According to Rolls-Royce, this will open up new, longer routes than electric battery powered aircraft can support.

Olaf Otto, 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.

“The Pass-To-Test (PTT) of our brand-new small engine that will power our turbo generator system is an important step forward.

“This product will enable our customers to extend the routes that electric flight can support and means more passengers will be able to travel further on low to net zero emissions aircraft.”

Rolls-Royce said that its new engine will be tested on SAF in the coming months and will be used for the commissioning of Rolls-Royce’s test facility in Dahlewitz, in Germany.

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