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Embraer and EDP Collaborate on Electric Aircraft Research

: Nov 20, 2020 - : 12:38 pm

Embraer and EDP, a company that operates in the Brazilian energy sector, are working together on electric aircraft research. The prototype, which is in development, is scheduled to complete its inaugural flight in 2021.

Through its EDP Smart division, the Portuguese-based multinational announced a financial contribution for the acquisition of energy storage and battery charging technologies for Embraer’s all-electric demonstrator aircraft project, utilizing the EMB-203 Ipanema as its test bed. The investment is to advance their shared knowledge of energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation – one of the main challenges of the project.

For the evaluations, a small single-engine aircraft is being used as the test bed to perform a primary assessment of electrification technologies. Ground tests have taken place at Embraer’s facilities in Botucatu, in the interior of São Paulo, in preparation for the first flight, which will take place at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto unit.

The partnership will investigate the applicability of high voltage batteries for the electric propulsion systems of small aircraft. It will also evaluate the main operating characteristics, such as weight, efficiency and power quality, thermal control and management, cycling loading and unloading, and operational safety.

“Embraer’s history of creating strategic partnerships through agile cooperation makes us one of the most recognized Brazilian companies for stimulating global knowledge networks, which in turn significantly increases the country’s competitiveness,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Vice President of Engineering and Corporate Strategy. “It is a pleasure to welcome EDP into this scientific research endeavor designed to build a sustainable future. Innovation is one of the pillars of Embraer’s new strategy for the coming years.”

“EDP aims to lead the energy transition to a low carbon economy,” said says Miguel Setas, President of EDP in Brazil.  “Our partnership with Embraer in the development of the company’s first 100% electric demonstrator aircraft represents a new frontier for our investment in electric mobility, which helps to position Brazil as a leading player in this market.”

The proposal for the technological development of aeronautical electrification was initially created as a cooperation between Embraer and WEG, in May 2019.

EDP has a global commitment to electrify 100% of its fleet by 2030, as well as to develop new offers and commercial solutions that promote the energy transition.

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