The Anonymous Widower

Embraer, Widerøe And Rolls-Royce Announce Partnership To Research Innovative Technologies For Sustainable Regional Aircraft

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the body of the press release.

Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce have today announced plans to study a conceptual zero-emission regional aircraft.

The 12-month cooperation study – in the context of pre-competitive research and development – will address passenger requirements to stay connected in a post Covid-19 world, but do so sustainably, and seeks to accelerate the knowledge of the technologies necessary for this transition. Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

Advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of regional aviation and the three companies will share their combined in-depth knowledge of aircraft design, market demand, operations and propulsion solutions to further develop their understanding of zero-emission technologies and how they can be matured and applied to future regional aircraft.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

These are my thoughts.

An Aircraft For Existing Infrastructure

This is an extract from the press release.

Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

If I was the CEO of an airline, I’d want an aircraft that fitted the airports and their facilities, where I wanted to fly.

No Propulsion System Is Ruled Out

This is an extract from the press release.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

It would appear no propulsion system is ruled out.

In LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, where I talked about LNER ordering ten new trains, they also said they would accept any type of power, that was suitable.

Embraer

Embraer are a successful Brazilian aerospace company, who according to Wikipedia, are the third largest producer of civil aircraft, after Boeing and Airbus.

I first flew in one of their EMB 110 Bandeirantes in the 1970s from Norwich to Stavanger and I’ve flown on several of their aircraft since.

Embraer’s current jet aircraft line-up includes.

  • Embraer E-Jet – Twin-jet regional airliner – 66-124 passengers – 1596 produced
  • Embraer E-Jet E2 – Twin-jet regional airliner – 88-146 passengers – 50 produced

Note.

  1. The E-Jet E2 is the successor to the E-Jet with new engines, new avionic, fly-by-wire controls and other improvements.
  2. Production numbers are as of 31st March 2021.
  3. Embraer don’t seem to produce turboprop aircraft any more, although a lot of their former products are still flying.

I certainly wouldn’t avoid flying in Embraer products, as I would in other aircraft and on some airlines.

Have Embraer identified a market for a smaller sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft that could extend their product range below the jets?

Widerøe

Widerøe are a long-established and well-respected Norwegian airline.

Their fleet consists of forty De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft of various variants and three Embraer E-Jet E2 jet airliners.

Wikipedia says this about their fleet.

Widerøe plans to replace most of its Dash-8 by 2030.

Given that the Dash 8 seats between 40 and 80 passengers, I wonder if a sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft with an appropriate number of seats and the STOL performance of the Dash 8, would suit Widerøe’s route network, which includes many small airfields.

Rolls-Royce

In What Does 2.5 MW Look Like?, I talked about Rolls-Royce’s development of a 2.5 MW Generator.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

This press release on the Rolls-Royce web site is entitled Rolls-Royce Generator Delivered For Most Powerful Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System In Aerospace.

This Rolls-Royce picture shows the generator installed on a test bed.

These are the first three paragraphs of the press release.

The generator that will be at the heart of the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace has arrived for installation at our specialist testbed.

The generator, and related power electronics, was delivered to the newly-renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK, from the Rolls-Royce facility in Trondheim, Norway, having completed an extensive development test programme. It will form part of the 2.5 megawatt (MW) Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator programme, for future regional aircraft. In addition to hybrid-electric propulsion, the generator could also be used as part of a “more-electric” system for larger aircraft or within future ground or marine applications.

PGS1 forms an important element of our sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems.

I must say that as an engineer this 2.5 MW generator really excites me, as I see so many possibilities.

Could this engine become the power unit of a hydrogen-powered regional airliner?

Rolls-Royce, Tecnam And Widerøe

In Rolls-Royce And Tecnam Join Forces With Widerøe To Deliver An All-Electric Passenger Aircraft Ready For Service In 2026, a similar deal to the Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce deal is discussed.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are joining forces with Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, ready for revenue service in 2026. The project expands on the successful research programme between Rolls-Royce and Widerøe on sustainable aviation and the existing partnership between Rolls-Royce and Tecnam on powering the all-electric P-Volt aircraft.

This picture from Rolls-Royce shows the proposed aircraft.

The P-Volt aircraft is based on the Tecnam P2012 Traveller.

Conclusion

Perhaps, the first deal is progressing so well, Rolls-Royce and Widerøe decided to repeat the exercise.

 

 

February 18, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,

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