Rolls-Royce has completed the deal to buy the electric and hybrid-electric aero propulsion unit of Siemens.
The acquisition is part of Rolls-Royce’s strategy to ‘champion electrification’.
“We are at the dawn of the third era of aviation, which will bring a new class of quieter and cleaner air transport to the skies, and our new colleagues will add vital skills, expertise and new technology to our portfolio,” sais Rob Watson, director of Rolls-Royce Electrical.
The former Siemens e-aircraft business, based in Germany and Hungary, employs around 180 specialist electrical designers and engineers. They have been developing a range of all-electric and hybrid electric propulsion solutions for the aerospace industry. They will continue to work in their existing locations.
#Siemens #eAircraft – the leader of the #ElectricFlight disruption – is becoming a @RollsRoyce business: Acquisition is executed now. Another great step towards third era of aviation. Dear friends at Rolls-Royce, I sincerely wish success for this journey! https://t.co/SMBfMoswcp pic.twitter.com/S9fdDxRDMN
— Frank Anton (@Frank_E_Anton) October 2, 2019
Rolls-Royce has already been working with the Siemens team on the Airbus E-Fan X demonstrator, while also developiong its own projects. These include:
- Ground tests of a hybrid propulsion system that can be used across a range of smaller transport platforms including eVTOLs (hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles), general aviation aircraft, and hybrid helicopters. The British company says it expects to start experimental test flights in 2021.
- All-electric demonstrator aircraft, as part of the ACCEL initiative that will attempt to break the world speed record for all-electric flight.
- Zero-emissions aviation with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia which is aiming to replace and electrify its regional fleet by 2030.