Bombardier Aerospace announced today the completion of another milestone in the execution of its Strategic Technology program for civil aviation and a first in the aerospace industry – a non-temperature restricted Bleedless Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) starting test, following a 10-hour cold soak at -40°F and using a starter/generation system and lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system.
Microturbo (Safran), the leader of this technology, is responsible for providing the global unrestricted e-APU system, including a starter generator and power electronics provided by Thales and Li-ion battery system, which is provided by Saft. All prototype equipment was designed for business jet applications.
The tests were successfully conducted at the Turbomeca (Safran) cold chamber facility, located in Pau, France, in April 2014. The key benefits of this new technology include reduced fuel burn and emissions due to a reduced bill of materials and lower weight, a longer APU life and unrestricted operation at extremely low temperatures. It will also simplify the aircraft manufacturing and assembly processes and lead to reduced maintenance costs for customers.
“The development of innovative, environmentally responsible products is at the core of our strategic priorities,” said Francois Caza, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Bombardier Aerospace. “This complex, multi-system integration test reaffirms Bombardier’s commitment to the advancement of aviation technology. It is part of a comprehensive technology development program covering various areas, including advanced systems, structures, aerodynamics and manufacturing methods.”
“We tested the systems in extreme conditions, including robustness with end of life battery and reached a critical milestone for technology readiness level 5,” said Dr. Fassi Kafyeke, Director, Advanced Design and Strategic Technologies, Bombardier Aerospace.
“The demonstration of a well-integrated, unrestricted e-APU system, with a starter generator, power electronics and Li-ion battery system, is a progression towards a ‘More Electric Aircraft’ that will have electrical power as a primary and more efficient means to operate systems and use Li-ion improved power density to allow for unrestricted starting,” said Avraham Ardman, Lead, More Electrical Aircraft project, Bombardier Aerospace.
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