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GKN and P&WC collaborate on high voltage for hybrid
Thursday, 28 September 2023
The two companies will work to integrate high voltage electrical systems on an experimental aircraft, and target flight testing to begin in 2024.

GKN Aerospace is collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Canada on the development of the High Voltage High Power EWIS for the RTX hybrid-electric flight demonstrator project. The agreement involves the development, construction and installation of the electrical wiring system of the demonstrator, which is targeting a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions compared to current regional turboprop aircraft.

The demonstrator's hybrid-electric propulsion system integrates a highly efficient Pratt & Whitney fuel-burning engine with a one megawatt electric motor developed by Collins Aerospace. The hybrid-electric system will enable more efficient engine performance during the different phases of flight, such as take-off, climb and cruise. Both Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace are business units of RTX.

GKN Aerospace in the Netherlands will spearhead the development and design of the High Voltage High Power EWIS for the hybrid-electric propulsion system. Following the design phase, GKN Aerospace will assume responsibility for manufacturing the necessary hardware and installing on the demonstrator aircraft.

GKN Aerospace is an expert in engine systems and EWIS solutions for aircraft, with cutting-edge electrical distribution systems powering a significant number of commercial and military aircraft. GKN Aerospace's EWIS centre of excellence in the Netherlands is supported by teams in locations around the world including in Montreal, Canada, where the hybrid-electric flight demonstrator project is based.

John Pritchard President Civil Airframe at GKN Aerospace says: “We are delighted to collaborate with Pratt & Whitney Canada on this hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program. This project extends our teamwork in hybrid-electric propulsion technology, which also encompasses the SWITCH project, which is backed by the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking of the European Union. Pushing the boundaries of technology is in perfect alignment with our mission to become the most trusted and sustainable partner in the sky. Companies like Pratt & Whitney will be delivering the solutions that will enable passengers to travel more sustainably and help deliver net-zero carbon by 2050.”

Jean Thomassin, Executive Director new products and services, Pratt & Whitney Canada adds: “Hybrid-electric propulsion technology has the potential to improve efficiency for a wide range of future aircraft applications, supporting the industry-wide goal of achieving net-zero CO2 emissions for aviation by 2050. Our collaboration with GKN Aerospace brings extensive expertise to the project, which will help integrate high voltage electrical systems on our experimental aircraft, as we target flight testing to begin in 2024.”

Contact details from our directory:
GKN Aerospace Services Ltd. Fuel Tanks & Systems
Pratt & Whitney Canada Auxiliary Power Units, Compressors, Electric Motors, Engine Parts, Piston Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines
Collins Aerospace
Related aircraft programs:
De Havilland Dash 8 Series
Related directory sectors:
Fuel Systems
Electrical Power Systems