NASA Calls for Proposals for Electrified Powerplants

 - February 26, 2021, 12:07 PM

NASA is seeking proposals for ground and flight demonstrations of integrated megawatt-class powertrain systems for subsonic aircraft, the agency announced this week. It has set a submission deadline of April 20 at 5 p.m. EST.

NASA expects the demonstrations to help rapidly mature and transition integrated electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP) technologies and associated EAP vision systems for introduction into the global fleet by 2035. Integrated EAP has emerged as a means to improve the environmental sustainability of the next generation of subsonic transport vehicles. Researchers are developing EAP electrical systems to replace or boost fuel-burning aircraft propulsion systems, similar to how automatic makers use electric or hybrid motors.

Through partnerships with U.S. industry, NASA intends to accelerate the development of integrated megawatt-class powertrain systems, as well as identify and address gaps in regulations and standards and acquire necessary ground and flight-test data to advance design and modeling tools related to future aircraft products with an EAP system.

Studies from NASA and the industry have shown that EAP concepts can reduce energy use, carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, and direct operating costs. NASA and its industry partners have identified turboprops, regional jets, and single-aisle aircraft serving the thin-haul (very short flights), regional, and single-aisle markets as targets of opportunity for the technology.