Blue Bear Systems Research (UAS) has created a consortium involving seven UK-based companies to develop an all-electric propulsion module that improves aircraft performance and reduces operating costs. This next-generation electric motor features a scalable design and is the first in a range of products that will be suitable for near-term use in electric aircraft of less than five tons, Híbridos y Eléctricos reported.
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The project, which stands for InCEPTion (Integrated Flight Control, Energy Storage and Propulsion Technologies for Electric Aircraft). It was launched this month and will run for 24 months. The goal is to deliver a zero-emission, quiet, efficient and energy-dense propulsion module. One of the main features of this propulsion module will be its scalability, allowing different combinations to power multiple vehicle concepts, such as large cargo drones, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, regional and sub-regional travel aircraft. As a result, the field will open up to a wide range of mobility services, from goods delivery to people movers.
The group will work to integrate this module with quieter, more efficient and less polluting aircraft living alongside the rest of the transportation infrastructure, ensuring that aircraft can fly to and from a cost-effective network of small operating bases. The group will also develop the supporting ground infrastructure. This includes the regulatory and control systems needed to use these new aircraft practically and safely. The value of mixed-use airspace will be demonstrated through innovative simulation and real-world applications.
According to Yoge Patel, CEO of Blue Bear, “InCEPTion’s propulsion module will bring revolutionary technology to manned and unmanned aviation, delivering unmatched performance and value in this emerging sector.” The project addresses technology, capability and supply chain challenges. It is supported and co-funded by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK. It is a joint government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacturing.
In addition to Blue Bear Systems Research, which will lead the consortium, also involved are Dowty Propellers and Drive System Design, specialists in electrified propulsion systems, M&I Materials materials specialists, Cambridge University’s Whittle Laboratory and the University of Salford’s Acoustic Research Centre.
By Gonzalo García