French aircraft manufacturer Daher will team up with technology company Safran and Airbus to produce a hybrid version of the TBM single-engined turbo-prop.
Due to fly in 2022, the EcoPulse demonstrator will use Safran hybrid propulsion technology and Airbus aerodynamic expertise to assess the validity of the system to reduce noise pollution and carbon emissions.
Launched at the recent Paris Air Show, the collaboration has been supported by the French civil aviation research council CORAC and the Direction General de Aviation Civile (DGAC), the French national aviation authority.
"The installation of a distributed propulsion system provides an exciting opportunity to boost the TBM aircraft’s efficiency, diversify its missions, reduce the environmental footprint and cut operating costs," said Nicolas Orance, Senior VP Daher Aerospace and Defence Business Unit.
"Reducing the environmental impact of aircraft is a concern for every part of the industry; it is with enthusiasm and determination that we welcome the opportunity to be part of this unique partnership alongside Airbus and Safran to succeed in the ambitious challenge set by CORAC
“We are determined to make it a distinctive feature of the French aircraft industry, and are certain that all stakeholders will unite around it.”
Safran will supply the EcoPulse distributed hybrid propulsion system without batteries, consisting of a turbo-generator, an electric power management system and integrated electric motors and propellers.The electric motors will be integrated into the wing and will provide propulsion thrust, at the same time as delivering aerodynamic gains by reducing wing surface area and wingtip vortices, and therefore drag.
Airbus will be involved in the aerodynamic modeling of the demonstrator, both to support configuration choices and to enable flight control laws to be developed.