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Nidec Leroy-Somer selected by Airbus to develop electric motors for its future hydrogen powered zero-emission engine

Nidec Leroy-Somer has signed an agreement with Airbus, the worlds largest airplane manufacturer, to develop an electric motor for its hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine prototype, as part of Airbus’ ambition to bring the first zero-emission commercial aircraft to market by 2035.

The long-standing expertise and extensive know-how of the French electric motor manufacturer, who already provides proven advanced technologies to many demanding industries, such as navy, nuclear, railway, automotive and robotics is now collaborating on aviation decarbonization.

Leroy-Somer, part of the Japanese Nidec Group since 2017, is entrusted to design and develop a series of electric motor prototypes which meet very high requirements in terms of safety, reliability, energy-efficiency and lowest weight for the targeted power.

Its skilled Research & Development Team is also challenged to explore breakthrough technologies and innovations to optimize the architecture of the aircraft propulsion system. Project management, design, engineering, and prototyping will all be done from its headquarters in Angouleme, France.

Prototypes, designed for performance and integration in Airbus’ zero-emission hydrogen powered fuel cell engine, will first be tested on ground using dedicated test benches. Following the initial qualification and validation, a second phase of in-flight testing will be conducted.

Jean-Michel Condamin, president of the commercial and industrial motors division at Nidec, says: “We are pleased to have been selected by Airbus to provide our expertise in high efficiency electric motors and contribute, through our innovative R&D teams and solutions, to this ambitious eco-friendly commercial aviation project.

“This important milestone for more sustainable mobility, presents several challenges that we are committed to overcome, to serve the global community.”

Eric Coupart, CTO of the commercial and industrial motors division, says: “We are proud of this acknowledgement of our ability to cut energy bills and carbon emissions through tailor-made solutions, in one of the most severe environments.

“Our world-class R&D capabilities will bring to Airbus sustainable and powerful smart technologies with best-in-class energy efficiency for the near future of the Aviation.”

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