CAE announced at the Farnborough International Air Show that it is working with Piper Aircraft to develop an electric propulsion conversion kit for the Piper PA-28-181 Archer. The company says it plans to convert two-thirds of its Archer training fleet along with creating a curriculum to train new pilots on electric aircraft operation. Development of the conversion kit is part of CAE’s Project Resilience, through which the company, in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, is investing C$1 billion over five years to “develop aviation and cross-sectoral digital technologies of the future.”
“The development of this technology is a first for CAE,” said CAE President and CEO Marc Parent. “As an engineering powerhouse and one of the largest Piper Archer operators, CAE is uniquely positioned to make electric-powered flight a reality at our flight schools and beyond. CAE’s partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for investment into R&D has enabled us to boldly look to the future and prepare our electric aircraft for take-off.”
According to CAE, it intends to work with Pipier on the conversion kit supplemental type certificate (STC) as well as “training and support services required for the operation of electrified Piper Archer aircraft.” The kit is expected to use Safran’s ENGINeUS 100 electric smart motor and a battery system provided by Swiss-based H55. A time frame for the project was not announced.