Latest News | 29 June 2022

Rolls-Royce unveils new hybrid-electric flight technology

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Rolls-Royce has unveiled new hybrid-electric flight technology, which it believes will lead the way in advanced air mobility.

The firm, which has its civil aerospace and defence divisions in Derby, has lifted the lid on new turbogenerator technology, which includes a new small engine designed for hybrid-electric applications.

The system will be an on-board power source, enabling extended range on sustainable aviation fuels and later, as it comes available, through hydrogen combustion.

Rolls-Royce said that current battery technology means all-electric propulsion for short flights in and between cities and island-hopping in locations like Norway and the Scottish Isles.

But turbogenerator technology will open up longer routes that Rolls-Royce’s electric battery powered aircraft can also support.

The turbogenerator will recharge batteries after take-off or power propellers directly, enabling aircraft to switch between power sources in flight.

Rob Watson, 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 and will scale this technology over time to larger platforms.

“As part of our strategy, we are looking at offering the complete sustainable solution for our customers.

“This means extending routes that electric flight can support through our turbogenerator technology.

“This will advance hybrid-electric flight and mean more passengers will be able to travel further on low to net zero emissions aircraft.”

Last year, Rolls-Royce announced a pathway to net zero carbon emissions and its electrical technology is one way in which the company is helping decarbonise critical parts of the global economy.

The firm said it is committed to ensuring its new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030 and all its products will be compatible with net zero by 2050.

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