Aero engine manufacturer Continental Aerospace Technologies has signed an agreement with a Florida company to jointly develop hybrid-electric power systems for aircraft.
VerdeGo Aero, which is developing a powertrain system called Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP), will bring expertise with hybrid-electric systems to the partnership, whilst Continental will contribute extensive experience with reliable aircraft powerplants.
"This strategic partnership continues Continental’s long history of innovation and expands beyond general aviation into emerging commercial markets requiring hybrid-electric propulsion," said Rhett Ross, president and CEO of Continental Aerospace Technologies.
"Continental, as always, remains at the forefront of innovation and intends to lead the aerospace market through its next breakthrough. Since our birth, over 115 years ago, we continuously innovate to be the first choice in general aviation."
VerdeGo Aero's IDEP system is designed for VTOL aircraft with maximum take-off weights up to 3400 kg. Continental is currently working on optimising a turbine engine for power generation, which is thought will make the IDEP more efficient..
"Off-the-shelf turbine and piston engines bring significant compromises when applied to hybridelectric powertrains," said Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero. "The ability to work with Continental to develop an optimal solution for our IDEP systems is a game-changer for commercial applications requiring endurance and power.”
Both companies believe the strategic partnership will provide a new power option for manufacturers developing new aircraft for urban mobility, cargo, UAS and emergency services operations.