BAE Systems Electronics Systems in New Hampshire, USA is designing a series of power sources to replace or reduce the need for typical combustion engines in small aircraft and will have prototypes ready for testing within the next few months.
The company said it expects to have operational prototypes of aircraft electrification systems for urban air mobility and regional transport jets before the end of this year. BAE Systems is partnering with aerospace company Jaunt Air Mobility to explore new developments for urban air mobility, and with Wright Electric on the development of an electric hybrid system and controls for its 186-seat aircraft.
The systems have yet to leave the runway, but the company has combined engineering teams with experience in flight controls and electronics with those who speclialize in aircraft power management and energy systems.
BAE Systems said, “We need smarter, cleaner travel now more than ever. Greenhouse gases are on the rise and populations are growing at a rapid pace. This has cities turning to cleaner forms of public transportation on the ground, in the water, and soon enough – in the air. The first of these next-generation electric flights is set to take off in just a few years with urban air mobility aircraft.
“We’re pairing our experience with new investments in the technology to make flights safer and more eco-friendly. Part of that investment will improve battery technology to meet the demands of flight, and meet certification requirements for systems that must last millions of travel miles – nearly 100 times the amount of an electric car.”