Raytheon announced a successful first test of a new hybrid-electric engine to be mounted on a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 demonstrator.
The engine, which combines a regular Pratt & Whitney powerplant with a 1 MW electric motor developed by Collins Aerospace, will enable cutting CO2 emissions by 30%, Raytheon said.
The engine was tested at Pratt & Whitney’s facility Quebec, Canada. There, the engine will be mounted on a Dash 8-100 aircraft to conduct the first test flight in 2024.
“With our ground test program now well underway, planned flight testing will enable us to accelerate the demonstration of this next generation sustainable propulsion technology,” Jean Thomassin, executive director of new products and services at Pratt & Whitney Canada is quoted as saying in the company’s press release.
The Canadian branch of Pratt & Whitney announced the development of hybrid-electric powered technology demonstrator, which is being developed together with Collins Aerospace, another subsidiary of Raytheon, in 2021. However, early plans saw the demonstrator beginning ground tests at the end of 2022. The project received additional support from the Canadian and Quebec governments.
While the release did not mention the cause for the delay, testing of the engine alone shows that progress is being made on the project.
Pratt & Whitney reiterated that the demonstrator is on track to fly in 2024.
This is not the first attempt to create a hybrid-electric engine for an aircraft. Pratt & Whitney’s competitors, such as General Electric and Rolls-Royce, and various start-ups are currently developing their own takes on this technology.