Wright Electric successfully tests a powerful new zero-emission engine.

EasyJet partner Wright Electric has announced that it has reached another key milestone along the way in the development and certification of its zero-emissions single-aisle aircraft, having now successfully produced and started testing a 2 megawatt electric powertrain motor – the most powerful electric propulsion motor of its kind in development and a key component for a zero emission aircraft system. The news follows the successful testing of its next-generation inverter technology earlier this year.

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Wright will now launch the next phase of development including integration with an in-house developed highly efficient inverter, high altitude chamber testing, and gathering testing data for future aircraft certification. Wright remains committed to pushing the development of the electric powertrain to meet the requirements of the aerospace community, with progressive development over the next two years. The company plans for ground testing in 2021 and 2022, and flight testing as early as 2023.

To achieve this, the company has also announced that it will be opening the dedicated Wright Laboratory and specialised motor test site. The site will be US-based and is set to be operational later this year. The site includes specialized equipment necessary for testing high-power and high-voltage motors and inverters. Wright has been funded by NASA, the US Department of Energy, the US Army, and the US Air Force in its development efforts.

“We have real momentum in our programme from announcing the start of our megawatt scale electric motor program for a single-aisle commercial airliner in January 2020, the testing of our next-generation inverter technology in May 2021 to now begin testing of our 2 MW electric powertrain and gathering data for flight certification. Zero-emission commercial aircraft are the future and Wright is focused on, and on track, to deliver on that promise”, Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric said.

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