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Wright presents the model of its 2 MW electric propulsion unit
Wright presents the model of its 2 MW electric propulsion unit
© Wright

| Antony Angrand | Source : Air&Cosmos 285 mots

Wright presents the model of its 2 MW electric propulsion unit

Wright Electric, the U.S.-based electric motor manufacturer, presented a mock-up of its 2-megawatt electric power train at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2023.


Wright was part of the technology showcase at the 2023 Arpa-E Energy Innovation Summit, held March 22-24 in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. This year's summit was the largest ever with more than 400 exhibitors. Attendees included many representatives from government, military, technology and the financial sector. Arpa-E stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy and is therefore dependent on the U.S. Department of Energy, which sponsors some research through grant funding. "Arpa-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private sector investment," the agency states.

Wright EPU.jpg
Wright EPU.jpg © Wright
Wright EPU.jpg

Through Arpa-E, Wright has been able to accelerate the development of key technologies for electric aircraft powertrains. During the Energy Innovation Summit, Wright presented a mock-up of the 2 MW electric propulsion unit it is developing as part of the ARPA-E ASCEND program. This electric propulsion unit will be a key component of the Wright Spirit technology, a low-emission adaptation of the BAE-146. In the showcase, Wright's EPU was mounted on a fan, demonstrating how the EPU will be deployed on the aircraft.

2 MW scalable and toward single-aisle 

For Wright, the 2 MW is a significant improvement "2 times greater than the megawatt engines being demonstrated in the aerospace industry," the company comments. With a claimed specific power of 10 kW/kg, the engine is designed to be scalable, with power ranging from 500 kW to 4 MW for different applications. "This allows the engine to be employed or used up to the single-aisle range, to enable electric and hybrid-electric flights with low or no emissions. Wright will use ten 2 MW engines on its Wright 1 20 MW aircraft, which is enough to power an Airbus A320," the manufacturer added. 

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