Daher, Airbus and Safran have formed a partnership to design and develop an ‘EcoPulse’ distributed hybrid propulsion demonstrator, based on a TBM turboprop airframe
Its aim is to validate technologies designed to reduce emissions and noise pollution, and to create new hybrid-electric applications in air transportation.
Safran will supply the propulsion system, which comprises a turbo-generator, an electric power management system, and wing-mounted integrated electric motors that will provide propulsion thrust and deliver aerodynamic gains by allowing wing surface area to be reduced and countering drag-inducing span-wise flow.
Airbus will handle aerodynamic modelling of the demonstrator to support configuration choices and to enable development of flight control laws.
“The installation of a distributed propulsion system provides an exciting opportunity to boost the TBM aircraft’s efficiency, diversify its missions, reducing environmental footprint and cut operating costs,” says Nicolas Orance, Senior Vice-President of Daher’s Aerospace and Defense Business Unit.
“Reducing the environmental impact of aircraft is a concern for every part of the industry; it is with enthusiasm and determination that we welcome the opportunity to be part of this unique partnership alongside Airbus and Safran to succeed in the ambitious challenge…
“We are determined to make it a distinctive feature of the French aircraft industry, and are certain that all stakeholders will unite around it.”
First flight of the modified TBM is scheduled for 2022.