• Joe Breitfeller

Pratt & Whitney Canada Advances Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Technology

Pratt & Whitney Canada has announced plans to advance their hybrid-electric propulsion technology and flight demonstrator program as part of a $163 million CAD investment supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec.

Pratt & Whitney Hybrid-Electric Powered De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 Demonstrator Rendering - Courtesy Pratt & Whitney

On Thursday (July 15, 2021), Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) announced plans to advance their hybrid-electric propulsion and flight demonstrator program, with a $163 million CAD investment supported by the governments of Canada and Quebec. The new technology will drive improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimizing performance across the different phases of flight, targeting a 30 percent reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions versus a modern regional turboprop aircraft. P&WC is working with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada to integrate the new technology into a DHC Dash 8-100 demonstrator. The demonstrator aircraft will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace.

In Thursday’s announcement, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s President, Maria Della Posta, said,

“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. 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. Hybrid-electric technology has an important role to play in enabling the next step-change in efficiency for aircraft engines, and we are uniquely positioned to demonstrate this potential.”

The new project is a successor to Project 804 launched in 2019, as a joint venture between P&WC and Collins Aerospace. Ground testing for the demonstrator is targeted for 2022, while flight testing for the Dash 8-100 is planned for 2024.

Also commenting on the hybrid-electric demonstrator program, De Havilland Canada’s Chief Transformation Officer, Dave Riggs, said,

“Canada has an opportunity to demonstrate environmental leadership in the aviation sector. De Havilland Canada has a legacy of innovation that has supported aviation in Canada and around the world for more than 90 years and we are immensely proud to be the first manufacturer of regional aircraft supporting the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technology. We look forward to collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Canada and governments in Canada to further the development of alternative, climate-friendly technology that holds much potential to contribute to more sustainable aviation.”

A division of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), Pratt & Whitney is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines and auxiliary power units (APUs) for commercial, military, regional, business and general aviation aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is known for their innovative technologies such as the Geared Turbofan (GTF) commercial aircraft engine and the PW800 business jet engine. In 2020, the company celebrated their 95th year in business.

Source: Pratt & Whitney