GKN to develop nested fan technology for electric aircraft


GKN Aerospace has started a project to develop fan technology for electric aircraft in Sweden.

The 18 month EleFanT project, which started in July is being conducted with KTH (the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) and will develop a nested fan suitable for use in regional aircraft.

The project is supported by the the Swedish Energy Agency and will be done at GKN’s Global Technology Centre in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The project will study aerodynamic design, performance, noise and manufacturing technology for a nested fan powered by electricity, either from batteries, hydrogen fuel cells or even more conventional hybrid propulsion solutions.

According to GKN, the proposed propulsion solution offers advantages in safety, noise level and engine installation. The EleFanT project seeks to “accelerate the pace of electric aviation development and position the participants for international aero-engine and aircraft development projects” it said.

“We are very positive about this initiative, which helps us to become part of the solution to aviation’s climate challenge. We will benefit greatly from GKN Aerospace and KTH’s long experience in turbomachines, lightweight construction and advanced manufacturing technology. From an electrification and sustainability perspective the project is strongly aligned with our recently announced H2GEAR and H2JET programmes.” said Henrik Runnemalm, vice president of the GKN Aerospace Global Technology Centre in Trollhättan, Sweden.

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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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