Continental Aerospace Technologies, an AVIC International company, and VerdeGo Aero Inc., a Daytona, Florida technology company, are partnering to develop hybrid-electric aerospace powertrain systems.
VerdeGo Aero is developing its Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) concept to provide powertrain systems for electric aircraft capable of fulfilling demanding commercial missions. Its IDEP hybrid-electric systems are designed for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft with maximum takeoff weights up to 7,500 lb. Continental is optimizing a Jet-A fueled engine for hybrid power generation, enabling a more efficient IDEP system.
VerdeGo Aero IDEP systems, using Continental engines, will offer a hybrid-electric solution that is quieter, more fuel efficient, more economical, and more scalable than hybrid systems using turbine generators while providing more reliability, endurance, and mission capability than battery-electric propulsion options.
“Off the shelf turbine and piston engines bring significant compromises when applied to hybrid-electric powertrains. The ability to work with Continental to develop an optimal solution for our IDEP systems is a game-changer for commercial applications requiring endurance and power,” said Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero.
“While some fully battery-electric flight is possible today, hybrid solutions provide a larger design space with higher installed specific energy. In an industry that is all about weight, this will be a key to early success” said Pat Anderson, CTO of VerdeGo Aero.
“This strategic partnership continues Continental’s long history of innovation and expands beyond general aviation into emerging commercial markets requiring hybrid-electric propulsion.” said Rhett Ross, president & CEO of Continental Aerospace Technologies.
VerdeGo Aero will act as the point of contact for new aircraft manufacturers inquiring about hybrid electric powertrain systems covered under this strategic partnership while Continental will act as the point of contact for inquiries from its existing customer base.
Founded in 1905, Continental introduced turbocharging, fuel injection, balanced fuel injectors, liquid cooling, Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), and other innovations for general aviation engines.
VerdeGo Aero was founded in 2017 by Erik Lindbergh and a team of electric and hybrid-electric aerospace experts to develop technologies for the emerging urban air mobility market and other next-generation VTOL aircraft markets.