The newly formed United Technologies’ Advanced Projects (UTAP) division unveiled its initial hybrid-electric demonstration aircraft this morning, which it said will yield 30 percent fuel savings on a typical one-hour mission. Dubbed “Project 804” (P804), the aircraft is expected to fly within three years. It is a reworked Bombardier Dash 8-100 twin turboprop, re-engined on one side with a two megawatt-class propulsion system and an engine optimized for cruise efficiency augmented by a battery-powered electric motor that assists during the 20-minute takeoff and climb sequence.
According to UTAP, the engine and electric motor will each generate one megawatt of power in parallel hybrid configuration. The system uses off-the-shelf battery cells with a custom-designed packaging and battery management system. The battery, its power management system, and the power electronics will be installed in the aircraft cabin, while the hybrid-electric propulsion system will be mounted on a modified nacelle.
UTAP attributes the fuel savings to new engine efficiencies and those derived from electric power and that the system is suitable both for retrofit on existing aircraft and clean-sheet designs.