Honeywell, Denso partner on air mobility projects
Honeywell and Denso announced a collaboration in the aerospace and automotive sectors to develop hybrid-electric and fully electric powertrains.
“The pressure to mitigate the environmental and economic impact of aviation will only grow in the years ahead as air passenger traffic increases and urbanization continues,” said Bryan Wood, Senior Director of Honeywell’s hybrid-electric and electric propulsion programs. “Knowing the challenges we face, we’re working with Denso to create a new future for aviation propulsion. Aircraft powered by hybrid-electric and electric architectures have incredible benefits; they’re cleaner, quieter, more fuel-efficient, more reliable, and easier to maintain.”
The two companies will work together to build concepts and technology demonstrations for the design and development of hybrid-electric and all-electric propulsion systems for aerospace applications.
“Our long-term vision is to contribute to the greater society, and we see urban air mobility as one of the main transportation methods in the future of advanced mobility,” said Kenichiro Ito, Executive Officer of Denso Corporation and CEO of Denso's North American headquarters. “We believe that collaboration between the automotive and aerospace industries is crucial to achieve high-quality and mass-scale urban air mobility.”
Urban air mobility (UAM) is comprised of air vehicles, such as air taxis, with on-demand availability, and it is aimed at providing more efficient movement for people within cities to improve safety and decrease ground traffic. Major advancements in materials, generators, and motors are making electric-powered flight possible, practical, and affordable. Urban air mobility also includes automated air transportation services—which eventually will be fully autonomous and flown without pilots—for passenger or cargo-carrying use.
Denso has decades of experience in developing and producing electrified propulsion units, including traction motors and inverters, at high mass-production volume.
Honeywell has an aviation hardware and software product portfolio, including advanced navigation technologies and fly-by-wire flight controls tailored for the unique needs of UAM aircraft.
Honeywell separately debuted a new hybrid-electric turbogenerator prototype earlier this year. The system combines its HTS900 engine with two compact, 200 kW high-power density generators. The system burns conventional or bio-derived jet fuel and can feed motors or high-capacity batteries.