Embraer unveiled the company’s first electric-powered demonstrator in São José dos Campos, Brazil on August 16th, 2019. The company also provided several images of the demonstrator aircraft that Embraer states will feature 100% electric propulsion technology, scheduled for its first flight in 2020.
The prototype, a small single-engine aircraft, based on the EMB-203 Ipanema, is still in the early stages of development and is yet to receive a full suite of systems and components according to Embraer.
The company announced in a press release that WEG would manufacture the aircraft’s electric motor and controller at the company’s Brazilian headquarters in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina.
Embraer has a cooperation agreement for joint development of electrification technologies with WEG and will continue development in partnership with the company on the electric-powered aircraft concept.
The initial scientific development program agreement was formalized between Embraer and WEG in May 2019, aiming to develop “effective and efficient instrumentation” during the production and testing cycle. The advanced technology will then be considered for inclusion in future aircraft.
The research and development partnership seeks to “accelerate the knowledge of necessary technologies to increase the energy efficiency of an aircraft, considering the use and integration of electric motors into innovative propulsion systems,” said Embraer.
The company further stated in the press release that “the electrification process is part of a series of efforts carried out by Embraer and the aeronautical industry aimed at ensuring commitment to environmental sustainability, as already done with biofuels to reduce carbon emissions.
By establishing strategic partnerships through more agile cooperation mechanisms, the company hopes to stimulate knowledge networks that will allow a significant increase in Brazil’s competitiveness and the construction of a sustainable future.”
Other partnerships involved in the project include Parker Aerospace who will be responsible for supplying the cooling system for the demonstrator aircraft.