BAE Systems to provide battery for NASA hybrid-electric aircraft


GE Aviation has selected BAE Systems to supply the battery, cables and controls for a NASA research project developing a megawatt class hybrid-electric aircraft demonstrator.

The company will design, test and supply the energy management components as part of NASA’s Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project.

The EPFD project aims to build and fly aircraft equipped with hybrid-electric megawatt powertrains to prove the viability of the technology for commercial aviation.

The EPFD project includes ground and flight-test demonstrations to be conducted over the next five years. The hybrid-electric powertrains will be tested on a modified Saab 340B which uses CT7-9B turboprop engines.

Last September, NASA awarded contracts to GE Aviation and magniX to develop the electric propulsion systems for the EPFD’s ground and flight demonstrators.

This week GE Aviation picked BAE Systems Electronics in Endicott, New York to provide the battery and related cabling used to store electricity and drive the motor / generator GE Aviation is building for the demonstrators. The company will also provide the controls for the power management system.

Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of controls and avionics Solutions at BAE Systems said, “We are harnessing our expertise in energy management systems and flight critical controls to support the development of electric propulsion systems for the future of flight. This effort continues our longstanding relationship with GE.”

Mohamed Ali, vice president and general manager of engineering for GE Aviation said, “GE Aviation is leading the development of hybrid electric technology for commercial aviation through this NASA collaboration. Energy management is an important component of our research program toward a more electric future of aviation with reduced carbon emissions and less reliance on fossil-based jet fuels.”

BAE Systems has more than 25 years of experience developing and integrating electric propulsion systems for buses, boats, heavy-duty trucks, and military vehicles.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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