Ricardo and Greenjets celebrate important eVTOL propulsion milestone on journey to sustainable electric aviation

Fol­low­ing sup­port from Ricar­do, Green­jets has cel­e­brat­ed a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone on the jour­ney to future sus­tain­able elec­tric propul­sion in the aero­space indus­try.

It has cre­atied the first gen­er­a­tion of a ful­ly oper­a­tional elec­tric demon­stra­tor propul­sion mod­ule (InCEP­Tion) for use in air­craft weigh­ing less than five tonnes.

The design is ful­ly scal­able, effi­cient and aims to reduce oper­at­ing costs. It is the cul­mi­na­tion of an 18-month project involv­ing design engi­neers, elec­tri­fi­ca­tion spe­cial­ists and project engi­neers to deliv­er a bespoke wrap around, immer­sion cooled, ultra-high-per­for­mance bat­tery, using 32 con­nect­ed mod­ules.

In addi­tion to the design and build of the ful­ly inte­grat­ed mod­ule, Ricar­do has been respon­si­ble for the com­pete ther­mal man­age­ment sys­tem, incor­po­rat­ing increased safe­ty aspects from the ini­tial design stage.

Matt Beasley, Direc­tor of Glob­al Engi­neer­ing and Oper­a­tions at Ricar­do, said: “We’re delight­ed to have sup­port­ed Green­jets on this inno­v­a­tive design and build sys­tem that will deliv­er future sus­tain­able elec­tric propul­sion in the aero­space indus­try.

“Our engi­neers have designed, devel­oped and built a sys­tem that is ful­ly scal­able which also enables dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of the same mod­ule to pow­er mul­ti­ple air­craft con­cepts, from large drones, elec­tric ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing appli­ca­tions, gen­er­al avi­a­tion air­craft and sub-region­al air­craft. The sys­tem is ver­sa­tile and can be 100% bat­tery or fuel cell hybrid pow­ered.”

Beasley added: “Our engi­neer­ing exper­tise with­in the auto­mo­tive indus­try is now enabling us to deliv­er inno­v­a­tive, sus­tain­able projects in the aero­space and mar­itime indus­tries, includ­ing in the design and devel­op­ment of future sus­tain­able propul­sion sys­tems. It’s an excit­ing time to be involved in these types of projects in sup­port of future decar­bon­i­sa­tion across mobil­i­ty.”

InCEP­Tion incor­po­rates 20 kWh worth of bat­tery pack capac­i­ty into a very con­strained toroidal shape and has been designed to form part of the struc­ture of a propul­sion sys­tem, with shared cool­ing and struc­tur­al ele­ments, mak­ing its deliv­ery chal­leng­ing and com­plex.

The com­pos­ite mod­ule is light­weight, pow­er dense and enables rapid charg­ing. Its cut­ting-edge design is con­fig­ured in a 360- degree ori­en­ta­tion, with bond­ed com­pos­ites and a foam struc­ture to help reduce weight.

Green­jets now plans to under­take ground and wind tun­nel tests to sup­port even­tu­al inte­gra­tion into an engine, with the aim of even­tu­al use in com­mer­cial air­craft.

Anmol Manohar, CEO of Green­jets, added: “The archi­tec­ture of our largest engine, the IPM500, has ben­e­fit­ed great­ly from our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ricar­do. With Ricar­do’s one-of-a-kind bat­tery pack inte­grat­ed into the nacelle of our engine, we make vital sav­ings in effi­cien­cy and weight along with close inte­gra­tion with the rest of the pow­er­train. It also improves safe­ty by mov­ing sig­nif­i­cant bat­tery weight away from the fuse­lage.

“Ricar­do has been an incred­i­ble part­ner on our devel­op­ment pro­gramme, and we look for­ward to lever­ag­ing their bat­tery and ther­mal man­age­ment exper­tise in the upcom­ing ground and wind tun­nel test cam­paigns”

Avatar photo

Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769