Rolls-Royce to examine planes that use electricity and fuel

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Technology firm Rolls-Royce is in a bid to test aircraft that use both electricity and fuel in 2021 which will mark a major milestone in the industry.

The move will help to ease carbon emission and reduce the impact of climate change that the world is grappling with.

The firm is hiring hybrid-electric propulsion systems technology for the next generation of aviation.

“The tests are part of one of the world’s most comprehensive hybrid aerospace turbine engine development and integration programmes and pave the way for experimental flights on aircraft in 2021,” the firm said in a statement.

The firm successfully tested the hybrid version of the M250 gas turbine in a ground demonstration setting in three operating modes — Series Hybrid, Parallel Hybrid and Turbo-Electric. The M250 hybrid is planned to be used as a thrust plant with power ranging from 500kW to 1MW.

According to the statement, “The system will be used across a range of transport platforms to enable distributed electric propulsion, including hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, general aviation aircraft and hybrid helicopters”.

Mike Mekhiche, deputy director Rolls-Royce said one of the key elements of the firm’s strategy is to champion electrification across all their businesses.

According to him, “The successful testing of the hybrid M250 system is an important step forward in providing a hybrid-electric propulsion system that will enable a new class of quieter and cleaner air transport”, “Electrification is one of the most exciting developments in aviation since the birth of the jumbo jet. We are determined to use our pedigree in aerospace to be at the forefront of developing innovative propulsion systems to meet the needs of the next chapter in aviation,” He added.

 

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