Rolls-Royce, the heralded British aero-engine manufacturer, just brought out an incredible turbogenerator that will provide power for hybrid-electric flights. To get the ball rolling, this new technology will function off of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and eventually transition to hydrogen once it’s more widely accessible. It’s no secret the aviation industry is all about cutting down carbon emissions these days, and electric/hybrid motors are key components in achieving that mission–so Rolls-Royce is devoted to keeping up with changing needs.
Rolls-Royce, a powerhouse in the industry of massive engines, has been leading the charge of pioneering new technologies to lift our post-fossil fuel era off the ground. Recently put on display at Paris’ Air Show, their turbogenerator stuns with its sleek and space-saving design– squeezing in the turbine, generator and power electronics into one place! ?It’s truly remarkable.
The utilization of sustainable aviation fuels enables the turbogenerator to achieve low-carbon emissions. As hydrogen fuel technology matures, Rolls-Royce plans to transition to this even cleaner energy source. The turbogenerator offers versatile functionality, capable of directly powering propellers or charging onboard batteries. This flexibility empowers flight operators to switch between power sources, significantly enhancing aircraft range.
Rolls-Royce has been conducting tests on the turbogenerator at its facilities in Dahlewitz, Germany, and Hungary, with funding support from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action. This strategic choice of location aligns with the company’s plan to establish a “gigafactory” for electric batteries, intended for both their automobiles and future aircraft. Rolls-Royce is also targeting the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market, including electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, to address urban congestion and regional flights.
With its turbogenerator, Rolls-Royce not only expands its electric propulsion portfolio but also aims to provide energy solutions for various aircraft applications. The technology meets the short-term requirements of the industry while further advancements in electric aviation take shape. Collaborating with eVTOL manufacturers such as Vertical Aerospace and Embraer’s electric arm, Eve, Rolls-Royce is positioned as a reliable provider of propulsion technology.
Olaf Otto, President – Electrical at Rolls-Royce, emphasized the company’s commitment to becoming the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems for Advanced Air Mobility. The turbogenerator is a critical component in this endeavor, offering power outputs ranging from 500kW to 1200kW when utilizing SAF, surpassing the capabilities of current eVTOL electric motors and extending their range.
Rolls-Royce’s introduction of the turbogenerator cements its status as an innovative and dependable solution provider in the emerging eVTOL sector, as it continues to shape the future of sustainable aviation.