Rolls-Royce has announced that it will be working on a flight demonstrator based on its hybrid M250 propulsion system. The company is developing the demonstrator in partnership with Germany-based aviation engineering company APUS and the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU). The three-year project is being funded through the Brandenburg government’s regional program to develop research, innovation and technology (ProFIT).
“We have already ground tested the hybrid version of the M250 gas turbine in a demonstration setting in Series Hybrid, Parallel Hybrid and Turbo-Electric operating modes,” said Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical Rob Watson. “The M250 hybrid is planned to be used as a propulsion plant with power ranging from 500kW to 1MW and has the potential to transform aviation power.”
According to Rolls-Royce, the M250 gas turbine engine has powered more than 170 helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft models, logging in excess of 250 million engine flight hours. For the hybrid-electric demonstrator project, the M250 will be integrated with a high energy density battery system, electric generators, power converters and an advanced power management and control system. An APUS i-5 aircraft will be used to “demonstrate the practical application of hybrid electric technology for a 4000-kg [about 8800-pound] conventional takeoff and landing flight test vehicle.”