Safran ground tests hybrid propulsion system
In July Safran Helicopter Engines passed a major milestone in its hybrid electric propulsion programme with the first ground test at its facility near Pau-pyrénées Airport.
In the system, a gas turbine driving an electrical generator is coupled to a bank of batteries powering multiple electric motors that turn propellers. The power is efficiently distributed by a new-generation power management system, and the motors are controlled by a fully integrated smart power electronics assembly. Several operating modes were tested and validated during this first series of tests, with the electric motors powered only by batteries or by a combination of batteries and turbo-generator. The system generated 100kw of electrical power.
“Following the recent announcement of our partnership with Bell concerning ‘mobility on demand’, this latest milestone clearly reflects our determination to invest in the development of hybrid electric... systems which will be the foundation of future propulsion solutions,” said Stéphane Cueille, Safran’s Senior Executive Vice-president for R&T and Innovation.
Safran believes that hybrid propulsion systems will contribute to the emergence of new VTOL and STOL aircraft by enhancing their flight and mission capabilities, and is focused on bringing these technologies to the market by 2025.
Aimed at VTOL/STOL applications, Safran’s hybrid propulsion system generates 100kw