A new hybrid-electric turbogenerator from Honeywell is making its debut at the HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta to showcase the company's growing role in the urban air mobility segment, highlighted by Honeywell advancements in electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems.
Honeywell's prototype system combines the rugged, flight-proven HTS900 engine with two compact, high-power density generators. Each generator provides 200 kilowatts, which combined is enough to power 40 average American homes running air conditioning at full blast. The system burns conventional or bio-derived jet fuel and can feed motors or high-capacity batteries.
“This redefines powered flight by providing electricity to spare in a safe, light package built for aviation,” says senior director of hybrid-electric and electric propulsion programmes Bryan Wood. “As the urban air mobility segment grows, Honeywell is providing safe, reliable propulsion solutions as well as a host of other aviation technologies that are ready to install today on next-generation vehicles.”
Conventional aircraft use fuel-burning engines to mechanically turn rotors, propellers or fans. But many new aircraft designs incorporate multiple electric motors that can be tilted or turned off for vertical takeoff and horizontal flight. Aircraft designers believe this could usher in a new era of quiet, efficient, point-to-point aviation. A single Honeywell turbogenerator could power multiple electric motors located anywhere on an aircraft.
Honeywell has rapidly expanded its presence in urban air mobility, offering avionics, propulsion, flight controls, navigation, collision avoidance, power generation, actuation, logistics, satellite communication and connectivity technologies to companies developing new aircraft. In January it announced its work with Pipistrel Vertical Solutions to develop systems for a vertical takeoff and landing air vehicle that will eventually be capable of fully autonomous flight.
Honeywell is already a leading provider of onboard power, with systems on thousands of airliners, business jets and military and rotary aircraft worldwide. Its solutions deliver highly reliable electric current from five to 200 kilowatts in constant speed, variable frequency and direct current configurations. Honeywell is now testing the aerospace industry's first one-megawatt generator.