Rolls-Royce focuses on ‘the third era’ of aviation

Posted on 12 Jul 2019 and read 768 times
Rolls-Royce focuses on ‘the third era’ of aviationDerby-based Rolls-Royce has agreed to acquire the electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion activities of Siemens (the eAircraft business) in a move that will accelerate the delivery of its electrification strategy and boost its ambition to play a major role in the ‘third era’ of aviation.

The eAircraft business — based in Germany and Hungary — employs around 180 specialist electrical designers and engineers who have been developing a range of all-electric and hybrid electric propulsion solutions.

The eAircraft team and Rolls-Royce have already collaborated on the E-Fan X demonstrator project, which will demonstrate hybrid electric propulsion at the scale required to power regional aircraft.

Rolls-Royce Electrical director Rob Watson ( said: “Electrification is set to have as dramatic an impact on aviation as the replacement of piston engines by gas turbines.

“We are at the dawn of the third era of aviation, which will bring a new class of quieter and cleaner air transport to the skies.”

“We have already made significant strides in realising our strategy of championing electrification, and this acquisition will accelerate our ambitions in aerospace by adding vital skills and technology to our portfolio.

"It brings us increased scale and additional expertise, as we develop a product range of hybrid power and propulsion systems.”

Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein said: “We believe that pure electric — or all-electric — propulsion will power smaller aircraft in the foreseeable future, while larger aircraft will rely upon hybrid electric solutions that combine electrification with evolutions of the gas turbine.

"Additionally, as our group technological portfolio becomes increasingly electrical with the development of hybrid electric trains and microgrids, the capabilities of our world-class team will be a vital part of the future Rolls-Royce.”

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