This week at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Continental Aerospace Technologies announced its intention to partner with VerdeGo Aero to provide Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) systems for eVTOLs.
The hybrid electric technology by VerdeGo will most likely draw from Continental’s current diesel piston aircraft engines, which would be tied to electric motors and batteries in a “plug-and-play” format integrating with VerdeGo’s powertrain system. This design consideration will allow for eVTOLs to meet the upcoming demands of urban air mobility by utilizing jet fuel, which is widely available, while still enabling compatibility with future battery technologies.
“This strategic partnership continues Continental’s long history of innovation and expands beyond general aviation into emerging commercial markets requiring hybrid-electric propulsion,” said Rhett Ross, CEO of Continental Aerospace Technologies. “Continental, as always, remains at the forefront of innovation and intends to lead the aerospace market through its next breakthrough. Since our birth, over 115 years ago, we continuously innovate to be the first choice in general aviation.”
VerdeGo Aero, based in Daytona Beach, is optimistic about the partnership. “Revolutions in aircraft come from revolutions in propulsion,” said Erik Lindbergh, CEO of VerdeGo Aerospace. “This is the most exciting time in aviation I’ve seen in my career.”
Why it’s important: Continental’s partnership will most likely strengthen Verdego’s development of IDEP systems for urban air mobility. The capability to integrate both battery and combustion engines into the IDEP system is an important design feature, and could see a large amount of demand from OEMs looking to provide an eVTOL that utilizes both types of energy.