ALBANY, NY—Wright Electric Inc. has unveiled a 2-megawatt electric motor for use in aerospace applications. It’s a key building block in the company’s effort to create a zero-emission single-aisle commercial aircraft.
The Wright1, projected to enter service by 2030, will be a 186-passenger plane designed for flights under 800 miles. It will use 10 2 MW motors for a total of 20 megawatts, which is as powerful as an A320 Airbus jetliner.
“Scaling electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems from general aviation to larger aircraft applications requires much more powerful and lighter weight altitude-capable electric motor technology,” says Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric. “Their purpose is to convert the DC power from batteries into propulsive thrust that is compatible with industry standard ducted fan and propeller systems for commercial aircraft.
“The level of power and weight demonstrated with our new motor will become the baseline for any new electric aircraft and is a key technology in our megawatt system,” explains Engler. “The motor is being designed to be scalable from 500 kw to 4 MW systems.
”The motor now proceeds to the next phase of development, including integration with an in-house developed highly efficient inverter, high-altitude chamber testing and qualification for flight readiness,” adds Engler. “[We are] excited to demonstrate our first system and [we’re] committed to continuing to push the development of the motor and inverter to meet the requirements of the aerospace community with progressive development over the next two years.”