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Clean Aviation SWITCH Project to Advance Hybrid-Electric and Water Enhanced Turbofan Technologies

This will be the hybrid aircraft engine of the future.

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With the help of the European Union Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, a collection of aerospace technology companies has announced the creation of a cooperative collaboration to create hybrid-electric and water-enhanced turbofan technology for future aircraft propulsion systems (Clean Aviation).

Indigo to add Boeing 777 wide body aircraft in its fleet.(Opens in a new browser tab)

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By comparing these technologies to current state-of-the-art propulsion systems for short- and medium-range aircraft, MTU Aero Engines AG (MTU), Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace (Collins), GKN Aerospace, Airbus, and others hope to show how these technologies can increase fuel efficiency and reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by up to 25%. MTU manages the consortium’s operations.

The Sustainable Water-Injecting Turbofan Comprising Hybrid-Electrics (SWITCH) project is focused on developing a novel propulsion concept built from two revolutionary and synergetic technologies: Water Enhanced Turbofan (WET) and hybrid-electric propulsion. By combining these technologies with Pratt & Whitney’s GTFTM engine architecture, the SWITCH concept aims to significantly enhance efficiency and substantially reduce emissions across the full operating envelope of an aircraft.

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The hybrid-electric GTF powertrain will enable even greater efficiency across all phases of flight by leveraging highly efficient megawatt class electric motor generators, power electronics, and batteries to optimize the performance of the fuel-burning gas turbine. The WET concept recovers water vapor from the engine exhaust and re-injects it into the combustion chamber to significantly improve fuel efficiency, reduce NOx emissions, and lessen contrail forming emissions.

British Airways takes next step towards developing sustainable aviation fuel(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Current funding for Phase 1 of SWITCH extends to 2025 and will include testing of a hybrid-electric GTF engine, WET technology and sub-system laboratory testing, and design activity around an integrated hybrid-electric and WET cycle propulsion system. Subject to successful testing of these key technologies and component designs, further phases of ground testing and flight tests are expected to follow.

Clean Aviation is a public-private partnership co-funded by the European Union between the European Commission, the aerospace industry, and research institutes, dedicated to advancing transformational aircraft technologies which will help enable net zero emissions for aviation by 2050. The project will be supported by UK Research and Innovation, and will leverage collaboration between multiple aerospace companies, universities and research organizations across 11 countries in Europe and the United States.

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Aerospace

Embraer, a renowned aircraft manufacturer, has joined forces with Tata and Mahindra Group

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A well-known aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, is in talks to partner up with Tata Group and Mahindra Group to build up local manufacturing capabilities in India. With the help of this strategic alliance, India’s aerospace sector will expand, domestic manufacturing will be strengthened, and jobs will be generated.

“Tata told us that their initial focus would be on large aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing. After that, they would consider smaller, regional aircraft, and there is the market where we are,” according to president and CEO Francisco Gomes Neto.

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Aircraft comparisons between the Brazilian built Embraer KC 390 and the European Airbus C 295(Opens in a new browser tab)

While Airbus and Boeing dominate the market for bigger commercial planes, Embraer is a market leader in regional aviation. By the end of 2023, the business wants to have decided on an Indian partner for the production of defense aircraft.

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking for medium-transport aircraft that have a lifting capacity of 18 to 30 tonnes. It aims to finish this search by 2025 or 2026. The C-390 Millennium multi-mission tactical air transport aircraft, the newest defense offering from Embraer, which debuted the plane at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru in February, has been pushed for the order.

According to CEO Neto, Embraer sees “a good opportunity” in India. “The IAF has already seen our aircraft, and they approve. We have received positive feedback about the C-390 Millennium from nations like the Netherlands. We believe that the C-390 Millennium is the greatest option for that size of aircraft.

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The Indian defense aviation market is not new to Embraer. The business has previously worked with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to produce three Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on the ERJ145 platform of Embraer, which are used by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF and the Border Security Force (BSF) both use Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft to fly VIPs and government officials.

Embraer C-390 reaches Full Operational Capability with Brazilian Air Force(Opens in a new browser tab)

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The partnership combines the skills and strengths of each partner. Together with Tata Group’s manufacturing capabilities and Mahindra Group’s technical know-how, Embraer’s extensive domain understanding and technological expertise in the aerospace sector form a potent partnership that can provide high-quality products and solutions.

Embraer, Tata Group, and Mahindra Group’s cooperation paves the way for sustained success and growth. This cooperation can investigate the potential in both domestic and foreign markets as the demand for aircraft goods and services keeps growing. Together, it can boost India’s position as a major center of manufacturing, which would benefit the country’s aerospace sector as well.

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Boeing Begins First U.S. Air Force B-52 Radar Upgrades

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Boeing Begins First U.S. Air Force B-52 Radar Upgrades

The first B-52 from the U.S. Air Force has landed at Boeing to start receiving improvements under the Radar Modernization Programme.

The RMP programme will equip the B-52 with “fighter-like” radar capabilities, enhancing navigational precision, targeting, and tracking, as well as delivering fresh, high-resolution mapping. Additionally, numerous targets can be engaged at once by the new radar.

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Why Is the B-52 Bomber Being Relaunch by the US Air Force?(Opens in a new browser tab)

According to Jennifer Wong, director of Bomber Programmes, “The B-52 brings unique, critical capabilities to the U.S. Air Force as they move to a future two-bomber platform strategy.” We are improving the B-52 radar to make the aircraft more relevant to the warfighter for tactical assault or close air support.

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Boeing started low-rate initial manufacture of the new radar system for operational test and evaluation after the radar programme Critical Design Review was completed on schedule. Modernization of the B-52 is being done at Boeing facilities in San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

Modern active electronically scanned array radar, two big area touch-screen displays with high clarity, two display sensor system processors to link the radar with other B-52 systems, two hand controllers, and a new wide-band radome on the aircraft’s nose are all part of the RMP programme modifications.

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Airbus delivers first aircraft from Alabama facility to non-US customer 

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Airbus delivers first aircraft from Alabama facility to non-US customer 

Volaris, a Mexican ultra-low-cost airline, is the first airline based outside of the United States to receive an Airbus A320neo built in Airbus’ Alabama production site.

By May 30, 2023, Airbus’ North American operation in Mobile, Alabama, had built 385 aircraft from the A320 and A220 families. But up to this point, all 13 customers—US airlines—had received these deliveries.

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Airbus delivers its first aircraft produced in the USA.(Opens in a new browser tab)

A third Final Assembly Line, is now being added as part of a proposal to expand Airbus’ Alabama business and boost A320 Family aircraft manufacturing.

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According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, the expansion will result in the creation of 1,000 jobs. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Airbus has sold more than 1,150 aircraft. In the region, more than 750 are in use, and another 500 are in the order backlog, accounting for a market share of approximately 60% of passenger aircraft now in service.

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