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Airlander takes steps toward electric propulsion

Posted on 25 May 2019 and read 1873 times
Airlander takes steps toward electric propulsionZero-carbon aviation is one step closer with the award of a £1 million-plus UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme grant to develop electric propulsion for the UK-built Airlander 10 hybrid airship.

The E-HAV1 project is intended to deliver a full-size prototype of a 500kW electric propulsor that could replace the airship’s fuel-burning forward engines, as the first step towards an all-electric version of the aircraft.

Using a combination of buoyant lift from helium, aerodynamic lift and vectored thrust, Airlander 10 already operates with a significantly lower fuel burn than other aircraft of similar capability, and the introduction of electric propulsors will increase this advantage.

The E-HAV1 project will address key goals of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy: strengthening the UK’s aerospace capabilities; positioning the UK to develop future generations of civil aircraft; and advancing a new generation of efficient propulsion technologies.

Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Bedfordshire-based Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) (www.hybridairvehicles.com), said: “Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the biggest challenges facing aviation today.

“This project will move us closer to our goal of zero-carbon aviation.”