Rolls-Royce has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Brandenburg state Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor, and Energy (MWAE) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to advance the research and development of hybrid-electric propulsion systems for the next generation of aircraft. With funding from Germany’s Structural Strengthening Act, the federal government's aeronautics research program, and other state funds, the partners will establish development, testing, and production facilities for hybrid-electric propulsion systems at Dahlewitz near Berline and in the Lusatia region.
As part of the new program, Rolls-Royce Deutschland opened a facility in Cottbus this month and will expand its research and development capabilities in Dahlewitz. The UK-based aircraft engines maker's German subsidiary will involve existing and new partners from the Lusatia region and continue to search for new industrial partners. The Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are current scientific partners of the project.
The corresponding work will be split between the Dahlewitz site and the new facility, which will be based at the Center for Hybrid Electric Systems Cottbus (CHESCO) of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg. The technical management of the projects will be in Dahlewitz, while a high proportion of work for the development project will be carried out in Cottbus with support from Dahlewitz and from electrical design teams in Bavaria.
“The race to net zero in aviation is both vitally important and one of the most extreme technological challenges there is,” said Rob Watson, director, Rolls-Royce Electrical. “The long term and increasing support of the German government for aerospace technology is a crucial enabler for Rolls-Royce to meet our commitments to sustainable power and net zero by 2050. Building on the advanced capabilities of our electrical team in Bavaria, the establishment of development, testing, and production facilities in Dahlewitz and the Lusatia region will enable Rolls-Royce to deliver hybrid-electric propulsion systems for the next generation of aviation.”
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce has appointed Grazia Vittadini as its next chief technology officer (CTO). The former Airbus CTO will succeed Paul Stein in 2022.