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Airbus and Siemens collaborate on hybrid-electric propulsion

Representatives of Airbus and Siemens attended the recent Bauhaus Luftfahrt Symposium “Ambition 2050”, bringing together science, industry, and politicians to tackle how to meet the EU Flightpath 2050 goals, aviation’s challenging environmental targets.

Topics explored included operations, alternative fuels, as well as energy technologies and power systems, which are at the heart of the work being carried out within the Airbus E-Aircraft Systems Programme in Taufkirchen/Ottobrunn near Munich.

While no single technology will allow the industry to become emission free, as Glenn Llewellyn, Electrification General Manager at Airbus highlighted on day one of the symposium, electric and hybrid electric propulsion technologies are some of the most promising.

This is why Airbus is actively exploring how to apply such technologies across its portfolio, from helicopters and VTOLs all the way to commercial aircraft, with demonstrators such as CityAirbus and E-Fan X.

A key part of this research started in April 2016, Airbus and Siemens started a joint collaboration for hybrid-electric propulsion systems with the objective of demonstrating the technical feasibility of these eco-friendly technologies.

“We have worked very closely with Siemens eAircraft over the course of the last three years to research hybrid-electric technologies,” said Martin Nuesseler, Head of E-Aircraft Systems Programme at Airbus.

“Siemens contributed their profound know-how in electric drives and power electronics and their strong capability to deliver innovative solutions to our ambitious projects.

“The results we have achieved this far pave the way towards the future of hybrid electric flight. We are sure that Siemens eAircraft will continue to be a close partner of Airbus in future.”