Wright Electric Will Start Testing High-Power Electric Aviation Motor

  • When this aircraft will start ground/air testing
  • What two companies are working together to make this aircraft

US-based propulsion technology specialist Wright Electric has begun testing a 2MW electric powertrain to support the development of a zero-emission aircraft. The company describes the measure as a “key milestone” for its Wright 1 single-aisle aircraft program, a proposal over which it is co-operating with UK budget carrier EasyJet. Wright Electric says the new motor is intended to be scalable up to 4MW. The company plans to use 10 sets of 2MW motors on the Wright 1 – giving overall power of 20MW. It also expects the motor to generate 10kW/kg in specific power and says this will amount to a two-fold improvement against available systems. “This allows application of the motor up to the single-aisle class aircraft, to enable electric and hybrid-electric flight with little to no emissions,” claims Wright Electric.

Wright Electric is looking to start ground testing this year and next, before moving to flight testing in 2023. The company is opening a US-based specialized high-power and high-voltage motor test site to advance progress. although the airline says it believes hydrogen will “play a big part” in the evolution of zero-emission aircraft technology, either through direct combustion or electric fuel cells – there is likely to be an “important role” for high-power electric motors. 

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