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Cranfield welcomes Evolito to Project Fresson
Evolito is to supply motor and inverter technology for the Project Fresson hydrogen-powered aircraft demonstrator. The small size and light weight will maximise the payload and range of the zero-emissions aircraft.
Project Fresson motor.
Read this story in our May 2023 printed issue.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) has welcomed Evolito on board as the motor and inverter supplier for Project Fresson, its hydrogen-powered aircraft demonstrator. Evolito joins Reaction Engines and Ricardo as technology collaborators on the project, showcasing the UK innovation that is redefining the aviation industry.

Based in Oxfordshire, Evolito is the aerospace spin out of automotive axial-flux electric motor pioneer YASA. Producing advanced electric propulsion systems, Evolito's motors are smaller, lighter and typically four times more power dense than radial flux solutions, making them ideally suited to the emerging zero-emissions aviation markets. Evolito's axial-flux technology requires up to 75 per cent less iron, less copper and fewer permanent magnets than competing radial solutions, making it lighter and more environmentally friendly.

For Project Fresson, motor and controller unit mass (or weight) is an important element in the overall mass of the hydrogen electric propulsion system, which must be minimised in order to maximise the payload and range that the zero-emissions aircraft can achieve. The motor also produces efficiency benefits from its novel cooling systems, meaning the unit never overheats and can run on maximum performance at all times.

Director of engineering Rob Marsh says: “Evolito's revolutionary motor isn't just lighter and more efficient, it's also an extremely compact solution that has allowed CAeS to integrate and package the technology efficiently, as part of the 240kW Fresson fuel-cell propulsion system that has been packaged within the Islander engine nacelle.”

Evolito chief engineer Mukesh Patel adds: “It's great to see our D1500 motors powering Cranfield's hydrogen electric aircraft. The Fresson project is the first application showcasing our high redundancy 2×3 phase direct drive electric motor, providing industry leading torque and efficiency to the aircraft. We're delighted to be involved with cutting edge initiatives, and this project is testament to technology innovation and its role in reshaping the aviation industry.”

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