Innovation News 15 February 2024

RTX Hybrid-Electric Flight Demonstrator program: Pratt & Whitney Canada selects Latecoere

Latecoere and its subsidiary company Comtek Advanced Structures have been selected by leading engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada to design and build a major structural assembly for the RTX Hybrid-Electric Flight Demonstrator program. Pratt & Whitney is an RTX (NYSE: RTX) business.

RTX hybrid-electric flight demonstrator (image courtesy of Pratt & Whitney Canada)

Pratt & Whitney Canada is leading a cross-industry collaboration to develop hybrid-electric propulsion technology which aims to support the industry’s goal of net-zero CO2 emissions for aviation. Latecoere will design and build the underwing fairing, an all-composite 2-meter-long and articulated assembly mounted with the hybrid-electric propulsion system on the starboard inner wing of the experimental aircraft testbed.

Greg Huttner, CEO of Latecoere, said: “Our aerostructures engineering track record, Comtek’s long history of collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Canada, and our newly combined composite expertise since Latecoere acquired Comtek in 2022, were key assets to win this business. This further validates our M&A strategy to create value and is fully aligned with our purpose to deliver innovative solutions for a more sustainable world.”

Combining a highly efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada thermal engine with an industry-leading 1 MW motor developed by Collins Aerospace, also an RTX business, this new hybrid-electric propulsion technology will drive significant improvements in aircraft efficiency by optimizing performance across different phases of flight. The project is targeting a 30% improvement in fuel burn and reduced CO2 emissions, compared to a modern regional turboprop aircraft.

Jean Thomassin, Executive Director, New Products and Services Introduction, Pratt & Whitney Canada, said: “This project draws together collaborators from around the world, strengthening Canada’s leadership in aerospace innovation. Since completing our first engine run in December 2022, we continue to make good progress towards flight testing, and welcome the expertise of Latecoere and their Canadian division Comtek Advanced Structures to help realize that goal.”


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