Florida-based VerdeGo Aero has launched a $12 million Series A round led by RTX Ventures (Raytheon Technologies) to accelerate development of its hybrid-electric technologies for aerospace propulsion. Founded in 2017, VerdeGo's high-efficiency flexible powerplants enable electrification to be applied to a broad array of aircraft types and mission requirements.
“Electrification of aircraft enables new aircraft designs and new mission types that are only possible by leveraging the responsiveness, light weight and adaptability of electric motors. However, most commercial and military missions require performance and endurance that go far beyond the capabilities of battery technologies. VerdeGo's hybrid systems create an efficient method for combining sustainable liquid fuels and electrification to get the best of both worlds,” says cto and co-founder Dr Pat Anderson.
The investment from RTX Ventures creates significant opportunities for collaboration between Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies business, and VerdeGo Aero by leveraging P&W's capabilities, including engine development, certification experience and global powerplant support. The investment from Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation links innovations in sustainable aviation fuel with VerdeGo's high-efficiency hybrid-electric powerplants to enable dramatic improvements in performance and capability for electric aircraft. VerdeGo Aero is currently developing its third generation of full-scale hybrid-electric powerplant hardware, having already delivered pre-production powerplants for non-certified flight test operations.
“Delivering sustainable aviation technologies to help our customers bend the emissions curve remains one of Raytheon Technologies' most important priorities,” says RTX Ventures managing director Daniel Ateya. “Our investment represents one of the ways we're working to deliver a more sustainable future.”
“Avfuel, via Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation, is proud to support VerdeGo Aero's groundbreaking work on hybrid-electric technologies,” adds executive vice president CR Sincock. “VerdeGo Aero's technology marries the benefits of electrification and SAF into one cutting-edge system to better support the future of a cleaner aviation with safety and efficiency top of mind.”
With active hybrid-electric programmes ranging from 150kW to more than 1MW, VerdeGo's industry leading team is led by Anderson, the 'father of hybrid electric aviation' who flew the world's first hybrid-electric aircraft in 2011 and has led the industry in understanding the benefits of hybridisation. A major focus of the Series A financing is growth of VerdeGo's technical and commercial teams, with emphasis on electrical engineering, power electronics and systems integration. VerdeGo's powerplants are applicable to a wide range of electric aircraft segments, including eVTOL, drones, STOL, CTOL, thin-haul regional and high-speed VTOL airframes.
A round investors include RTX Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, Seyer Industries, Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation, Standish Spring Investments, The Hatter Angel Network at Stetson University and Welojets.
“We see aerospace's adoption of hybrid electric technology as the key to capturing massive growth in regional markets and VerdeGo, together with Pratt and Whitney, is positioning itself as an industry leader,” says DiamondStream Partners managing director Dave Spurlock.
“VerdeGo Aero is excited about the broad strategic and financial support this Series A round creates for accelerating commercialisation of our hybrid-electric technologies. We look forward to expanding our Daytona Beach team of hybrid electric experts,” says ceo Eric Bartsch.