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Electra turns to Safran to develop turbogenerator for hybrid eVTOL aircraft

Electra Press Release | June 21, 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 4 seconds.

Safran Helicopter Engines has signed an agreement with Electra.aero, Inc. (Electra) to develop the 600 kW electric turbogenerator propulsion system for the prototype of Electra’s nine-passenger hybrid-electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft.

Safran Helicopter Engines will develop the Electra turbogenerator on the basis of its Arrano turboshaft engine.

This turbogenerator is an essential component of the disruptive hybrid-electric propulsion architecture for Electra’s low-carbon aircraft. A turbogenerator consists of a gas turbine combined with one or more electric generators, as well as an innovative system of electrical power and voltage regulation. Safran Helicopter Engines will develop the Electra turbogenerator on the basis of its Arrano turboshaft engine and is leveraging Safran’s broad expertise in electrical equipment, starting with Safran Electrical & Power, which will supply the two GENeUS electrical generators. Safran Helicopter Engines has already ground-tested several types of turbogenerators at various power levels.

“Safran Helicopter Engines is extremely proud to collaborate with Electra. We’ve closely evaluated the advanced air mobility market, and we believe the Electra eSTOL aircraft offers groundbreaking capability in a practical design that meets market needs of both today and tomorrow while being backed by a team with decades of experience to enable its success,” said Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice-President, OEM Sales. “We will be bringing to their project all the expertise we have independently developed in the field of hybrid-electric propulsion, combining electric and thermal energy sources, to develop the right turbogenerator for Electra’s first nine-passenger prototype aircraft. Our recent tests in this field are a strong indicator of success for Electra’s aircraft.”

“Electra has carefully studied aircraft electrification and we believe that hybrid propulsion is key to providing emissions and cost reductions while preserving useful payloads, ranges, and speeds for our customers – ultimately, building a better aircraft. The turbogenerator is the heart of this hybrid propulsion system. Safran Helicopter Engines is integrating a class-leading, modern turbine with their high efficiency generators and backing it with a strong support network. Safran’s motto is Powered by Trust and we’re proud to be Powered by Safran,” said JP (James) Stewart, Electra’s Vice-President and General Manager.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Electra.

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