Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that it is in the process of developing turbogenerator technology including a new small engine designed for hybrid-electric flight applications. According to the company, the turbogenerator will “recharge batteries after take-off or power propellers directly, enabling aircraft to switch between power sources in flight.” It will be scalable to serve a power range between 500 kW and 1200 kW and is being designed to complement the Rolls-Royce Electrical propulsion portfolio.
“Rolls-Royce will be the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems for Advanced Air Mobility and will scale this technology over time to larger platforms,” said Rob Watson, Rolls-Royce Electrical president. “As part of our strategy, we are looking at offering the complete sustainable solution for our customers. This means extending routes that electric flight can support through our turbogenerator technology.”
Watson also noted that Rolls-Royce is planning to build out its existing network to offer maintenance services for electrical systems. The turbogenerator design process, along with work on system integration, is taking place at Rolls-Royce locations in Germany, Norway and Hungary. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is providing some of the funding for research and development.