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EU Taps Honeywell for Two Major Clean Aviation Programs

EU Taps Honeywell for Two Major Clean Aviation Programs

Next-generation aircraft will use less fuel and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to innovators like Honeywell, its project partners and forward-looking initiatives like the European Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking (CAJU). After a competitive evaluation of many project proposals, in late September the CAJU announced its intention to fund 20 groundbreaking sustainability projects, including two that will be led by Honeywell.

“We’re very excited that Clean Aviation selected two Honeywell-led proposals, which are focused on developing an advanced thermal management solution for hybrid electric aircraft and a megawatt-class fuel cell propulsion system,” said Jan Ludvik, Engineering Director for Honeywell Technology Solutions (HTS) in the Czech Republic.

“Both proposals featured technologies that will have significant future environmental impact, along with sound implementation strategies by leading partners from industry, research institutes and universities,” he added.


Honeywell Focuses on Sustainable Aviation

“Sustainability is a key part of Honeywell’s corporate strategy and we’re committed to helping our aerospace customers achieve their sustainability objectives,” said Kurt Shewfelt, Senior Director of Breakthrough Technology Initiatives for Honeywell Aerospace’s Power Systems business. “We see a broad range of potential applications for these cutting-edge technologies across the aerospace industry – from propulsion systems for future air taxies to power systems for future hydrogen commercial aircraft.”

According to Ludvik, work on the two Honeywell-led CAJU projects will be performed at the HTS R&D center in Brno, Czech Republic, and at other Honeywell and project-partner sites across Europe. “Brno is Honeywell’s largest R&D center in Europe,” he said. “Our dedicated team has extensive experience working with international partners from industry and academia, so we’re definitely up to the challenge these collaborations will present.”


Thermal Management in a More-Electric Aircraft

One of the selected project proposals is called TheMa4HERA. It will be executed by a consortium of 24 partners from 10 different European countries. They include universities, research centers small and medium enterprises (SME), equipment manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers.

Thermal management will become more complex and challenges will be of a different magnitude when aircraft manufacturers introduce electric and hybrid-electric aircraft with their heat-generating fuel cells, batteries and power electronics.

“Thermal management is a Honeywell strong suit here in Europe and throughout the world,” Ludvik said. “Through our activities at our Yeovil site in the UK, we have been providing thermal management solutions since the 1940s. Today Yeovil is equipped with the most advanced test facilities while it continues to invest in know- how and skills.”.

Future generations of more-electric aircraft will require more efficient and lightweight thermal management systems. Advancements in this technology will help aircraft manufacturers deliver on sustainability commitments, meet government regulations and enable aircraft to fly farther on less fuel.


Hydrogen Fuel Cells Show Enormous Promise

The second selected project proposal is called NEWBORN. This project will be executed by 18 partners from 10 different European countries and will focus on developing an aerospace-qualified megawatt-class fuel cell propulsion system, which will be powered by hydrogen. Hydrogen is an extremely clean power source for future aircraft. Water vapor is the only byproduct of aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which makes hydrogen an appealing fuel for decarbonization.

“Honeywell has extensive experience in fuel cells, dating back to the early 1990s and we’re currently involved in in fuel-cell technologies for small unmanned aerial vehicles,” Shewfelt said. “Fuel cells are a very exciting technology with enormous promise in aviation.”

Honeywell is a thought leader in sustainable aviation. The company produces a range of products, services and software solutions that reduce fuel consumption, cut emissions and improve flight operations. Examples range from fuel-efficient propulsion engines and power systems to sustainable aviation fuels and advanced flight-efficiency solutions and beyond. 

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