De Havilland Canada and Pratt & Whitney Canada announced the launch of a hybrid-electric powertrain development program.
To test the concept, the two companies will use a specially adapted Dash 8-100 turboprop to receive an advanced electric motor and control system supplied by Collins Aerospace.
The program’s goal is to carry out the ground tests of the set in 2022 and carry out the inaugural flight of the aircraft in 2024.
De Havilland and Pratt & Whitney believe the hybrid-electric solution will be able to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 30%.
The planemaker will be in charge of integrating 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.
De Havilland will also be responsible for the cockpit interfaces needed to safely monitor and control the hybrid-electric technology.
Resumption of Project 804
The initiative of the two companies is not exactly new. The hybrid-electric concept was launched by United Technologies Corporation (UTC), now part of Raytheon, in 2019.
Named Project 804, the program proposed the same solution also based on the Dash 8-100 turboprop. Pratt & Whitney says the new deal is a successor to the project.
“Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be a leader toward ever more sustainable aircraft propulsion technologies and be an integral part of Canada’s green recovery plan,” said Maria Della Posta, president, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “With a long-time commitment to sustainability and as Canada’s top aerospace investor in research & development, having invested $500M CAD annually, we are driving economic growth, innovation and workforce expertise to benefit the environment.”
“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. 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 missionized operations well into the future”, said Dave Riggs, Chief Transformation Officer, De Havilland Canada.