Collins Aerospace has opened its $50m advanced electric power systems lab named The Grid.

Collins says it will use the new facility to develop and test key components for hybrid-electric propulsion and more electric systems.

The a central pillar of the aviation industry’s drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Hybrid-electric aircraft will help our industry significantly reduce carbon emissions, and with The Grid, the most sophisticated lab of its kind, we are investing to help these aircraft take flight,” said Henry Brooks, president, power and controls for Collins Aerospace.

“In the coming years, we will use The Grid to break new ground in the development of electric systems that are more powerful, more efficient and lighter than ever before.

“In doing so, we will help create a new generation of green aircraft that operate more sustainably with reduced impact on our environment.”

The Grid lab

With 25,000 square feet of space and an initial test capability of 8 megawatts (MW), The Grid will allow Collins to produce cutting-edge electric motors, controllers, generators and distribution systems.

For example, Collins will use The Grid to test its 1MW motor for the RTX hybrid-electric flight demonstrator and the European Union’s Clean Aviation SWITCH program, as well as its 1MW generator for the Air Force Research Laboratory.

At the opening, Collins displayed its 1MW motor and for the first time unveiled a 250 kilowatt motor.

“Across the industry, airframers are exploring electrification options for a range of different platforms including unmanned aerial vehicles, business jets, helicopters and single-aisle planes,” said Brooks.

“Whatever the application—whether commercial or military, hybrid-electric propulsion or more electric systems—we are working to ensure Collins is ready with the latest electric technology to meet our customers’ needs.”
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