RTX said it completed a rated power test of the demonstrator's 1 megawatt (MW) electric motor, developed by Collins Aerospace.
The 1MW motor will be combined with a thermal engine, developed by Pratt & Whitney, as part of a hybrid-electric propulsion system that aims to demonstrate a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to today's advanced regional turboprops. Collins and Pratt & Whitney are both business units of RTX.
"Our 1MW motor will help to significantly reduce aircraft carbon emissions by supporting hybrid-electric propulsion architectures on the next generation of commercial platforms," said Henry Brooks, president, Power & Controls for Collins Aerospace.
Following on from the first low speed engine run at a Pratt & Whitney Canada facility in Longueuil, Quebec in December 2022, testing of the combined hybrid-electric propulsion system – including both thermal engine and 1MW motor – will continue through 2023. The propulsion system and batteries will be integrated on a Dash 8-100 experimental aircraft, with flight testing targeted to begin in 2024. The project is supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.
In addition to the hybrid-electric flight demonstrator, the 1MW motor will also be part of the Pratt & Whitney GTF hybrid-electric powertrain planned for the SWITCH project under the European Union's Clean Aviation initiative. Future testing will be conducted at The Grid, the $50 million electric power systems lab at Collins' Rockford, Illinois, facility slated to open later this year.