Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), a business unit of Pratt & Whitney, announced plans to advance its hybrid-electric propulsion technology and flight demonstrator program as part of a $163M CAD investment, supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.
“We see hybrid-electric propulsion systems as one of the key routes to making aircraft of the future even more fuel efficient. We expect that smaller aircraft, including regional airliners, will be the first to benefit from this technology, creating a clear opportunity for India to grow these segments in a sustainable manner,” said Ashmita Sethi, president and country head, Pratt & Whitney. “India has one of the newest and most fuel efficient aircraft fleets in the world, powered by our GTF, V2500, PT6 and PW100 engine families. So India’s aviation sector is superbly positioned to lead a sustainable flying roadmap in the future.”
The new hybrid-electric propulsion technology will drive significant improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimizing performance across the different phases of flight, allowing the demonstrator to target a 30% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner. P&WC is working with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (De Havilland Canada) to integrate this hybrid-electric technology into a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator. This demonstrator will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace, also a Raytheon Technologies business.
“Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be a leader toward ever more sustainable aircraft propulsion technologies and be an integral part of Canada’s green recovery plan,” said Maria Della Posta, president, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “With a long-time commitment to sustainability and as Canada’s top aerospace investor in research & development, having invested $500M CAD annually, we are driving economic growth, innovation and workforce expertise to benefit the environment. Hybrid-electric technology has an important role to play in enabling the next step-change in efficiency for aircraft engines, and we are uniquely positioned to demonstrate this potential.”
As part of Canada’s green recovery plan, the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund is backing the technology demonstrator, which will help put Canada’s aerospace industry at the forefront of global efforts to make aviation more sustainable. Combining advanced technologies developed by P&WC and Collins, this project is a successor to Project 804, launched in 2019 as a joint development program between the two companies and provides a solid foundation for this new demonstrator program to build upon. P&WC will target ground testing in 2022, leading to flight testing of the Dash 8-100 demonstrator in 2024.
Developing hybrid-electric propulsion technology is a core element of Pratt & Whitney’s strategy to make aviation more sustainable. The company is also committed to continually advancing the efficiency of gas turbine engines across its portfolio, while supporting the wider use of sustainable aviation fuels, and pursuing alternative fuels. All these elements will be critical for the aviation industry to meet its goals to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by 2050. The company will continue to work with industry partners globally on a wide variety of projects targeted at increasingly sustainable aviation to benefit our customers and the environment.