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De Havilland Canada to produce hybrid-electric Dash 8 aircraft demonstrator

written by WOFA | July 27, 2021

De Havilland Canada has announced a new partnership with Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) to integrate hybrid-electric technology into a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator.

The flight demonstrator will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace.

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As announced by P&WC, the hybrid-electric propulsion technology and flight demonstrator program is part of a CAD$163 million investment, supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.

Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace are both businesses of Raytheon Technologies Corp.

The new hybrid-electric propulsion technology will drive significant improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimising performance across the different phases of flight, allowing the demonstrator to target a 30 per cent reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop airliner.

P&WC will target ground testing in 2022, leading to flight testing of the Dash 8-100 demonstrator in 2024.

De Havilland Canada will support the integration of the new hybrid-electric propulsion technology and batteries within the Dash 8-100 airframe, including designing a modified nacelle structure to house the hybrid-electric technology, and will also be responsible for the cockpit interfaces needed to safely monitor and control the hybrid-electric technology.

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De Havilland Canada will conduct the flight test and demonstration program and interface directly with Transport Canada for the corresponding experimental flight permit.

“Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be part of Canada’s green recovery plan and to be collaborating with De Havilland Canada in the development of the hybrid-electric propulsion technology by utilising a Dash 8-100 regional aircraft as our flying demonstrator,” said Maria Della Posta, president, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

“Hybrid-electric technology holds considerable potential to drive the next step-change in efficiency for aircraft engines while contributing to the development of the industry’s workforce, economic growth and innovation.”

Dave Riggs, chief transformation officer, De Havilland Canada, said, “Canada has an opportunity to demonstrate environmental leadership in the aviation sector.

“De Havilland Canada has a legacy of innovation that has supported aviation in Canada and around the world for more than 90 years and we are immensely proud to be the first manufacturer of regional aircraft supporting the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technology.

“We look forward to collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Canada and governments in Canada to further the development of alternative, climate-friendly aircraft that hold much potential to contribute to more sustainable aviation.”

“The robust and proven airframe of the Dash 8-100 provides a reliable platform to support the development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new hybrid-electric propulsion technology and we anticipate that the technology will be scalable for operation on larger Dash 8 aircraft models as well,” Riggs added.

“Our collaboration with Pratt & Whitney Canada is well aligned with other significant investments being undertaken by De Havilland Canada to ensure that Dash 8 Series turboprops are positioned to continue supporting commercial aviation, cargo transport, and missionised operations well into the future.

“Ultimately, our innovations, upgrades, and modifications across the platform will provide continued reliable, safe and comfortable service for Dash 8 passengers, lower costs for our operators, and greater sustainability for our industry.”

De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8 aircraft are recognised for their industry-leading credentials on sustainability and the company is ensuring that the aircraft continues to deliver their well-known fuel efficiency, low noise footprint and low carbon impact on the environment.

De Havilland Canada’s teams are excited about the ongoing research and development efforts to decarbonize aviation and are participating in numerous investigations regarding the development of new propulsion technology options that will likely shape the future of aviation.

De Havilland Canada believed it is uniquely positioned to participate in this green journey by leveraging the unique capabilities of the company’s aircraft platforms in the zero-emissions challenge.

The company has had discussions with many parties on the “greening” of aviation and is keen to see its products fulfil their potential for decades to come.

Article courtesy of Airlinerwatch.

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