Rolls-Royce Hungary develops power system for hybrid-electric aircraft

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Rolls-Royce’s Hungarian team is also involved in the development of the company’s turbo-generator technology, which consists of a new generation of small gas turbine, electric generator and energy conversion unit, mainly for hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft.

The turbo-generator is an on-board power supply system with scalable output. The technology complements Rolls-Royce’s electric powertrain portfolio, enabling greater range with sustainable fuels, including hydrogen.

The current battery technology of all-electric propulsion systems enables short-haul urban, inter-regional and inter-island commuter flights such as in Norway and Scotland for vertical take-off, landing and commuter aircraft.

With the development of a turbo-generator covering a wide power range from 500kW to 1200kW, additional longer routes could be opened up compared to battery and electric aircraft.

Rolls-Royce experts from Hungary, Germany and Norway are developing the turbo-generator, working together to link the individual systems and develop intelligent power distribution during flight. The turbo generator charges the batteries after take-off or directly drives the propellers, allowing the aircraft to switch between power sources during the flight. Research and development of the technology is partly funded by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

Rolls-Royce announced last year that it is developing future electric and hybrid-electric technologies that will contribute to the company’s goal of making its own operations carbon neutral by 2030 and the entire aviation industry carbon neutral by 2050. A significant milestone in this commitment was the creation of the parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, the H3PS project, developed by the company’s Hungarian engineers.

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