Safran ground tests hy­brid propul­sion sys­tem

Pilot - - NOTES -

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

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