NASA has awarded two companies $ 250 million to develop electric passenger planes by 2035.

NASA is diving into the all-electric future of transportation.

NASA has awarded contracts worth a total of $ 250 million to two companies to develop new electric propulsion technologies for regional short-range passenger aircraft in the United States, according to a recent press release from the agency.

As part of its electric power demonstration (EPFD) program, NASA selected GE Aviation in Cincinnati and MagniX in Redmond to quickly bring “electric propulsion technology to maturity,” the agency said in a statement.

Two companies have five years to complete the design of electric passenger planes for NASA

The EPFD program aims to study, build and deploy electric passenger aircraft in the United States no later than 2035. And to make that happen, “GE Aviation and MagniX will conduct ground and flight demonstrations of an integrated class of powertrain system. megawatt to validate their concepts and the benefits of the project for future EAP aircraft configurations, ”said Gaudi Bezos-O’Connor, EPFD’s project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. “These demonstrations will identify and remove technical barriers and integration risks. They will also help inform the development of standards and regulations for future EAP systems.”

The two companies will take five years to complete ground and flight demonstrations for NASA, with which the companies will collaborate on other projects, data analysis and flight test instruments. The deal with the agency violates two ways: $ 170 million for GE Aviation and $ 74.3 million for MagniX, both of which will perform at least two flight demonstrations as part of their agreed obligations. “[S]Significant improvements in the economic and environmental performance of subsonic transportation can be achieved by incorporating these new alternative propulsion and energy technologies into the fleet, “said Deputy Administrator Robert Pierce of NASA’s Aeronautics Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Hydrogen-electric aircraft under development while NASA tests eVTOL air charges

The NASA EPFD project is part of the Agency’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program (IASP), which is advancing in research and technological development at the systems level, allowing for a possible transition to new aviation technologies for upcoming operating systems and aircraft. “By implementing these concepts, NASA and its partners will accelerate the transition of EAP technologies to commercial products and will be a catalyst for economic growth,” Pierce added. “We expect to make significant improvements in the economic and environmental performance of subsonic transport by incorporating these new alternative propulsion and energy technologies into the fleet.”

In June this year, the Singapore-based company revealed that a major project, a hydrogen-electric passenger plane, would fly across the South Atlantic. Called the Element One, the upcoming HES Energy Systems aircraft could become the first hydrogen-powered drone to pull it off. If it works, it could prove that all-electric is not the only way to achieve sustainable zero-emission flight, as the April MarketsandMarkets report predicts that the hydrogen aircraft market will reach $ 7.427 million by 2030.

Several eVTOL air taxis are also being developed, a remarkable variant of which has also launched tests. under the supervision of NASA. Developed by Joby Aviation, this test of this new aircraft marks the first time the agency has ever participated in eVTOL tests, a trend that is likely to become more common when the agency begins awarding short-haul contracts. electric passenger planes.

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