Your browser is not supported.

For the best experience, please access this site using the latest version of the following browsers:

Close This Window

By closing this window you acknowledge that your experience on this website may be degraded.

When Whales Fly – It’s with Honeywell’s Groundbreaking 1MW Generator

When Whales Fly – It’s with Honeywell’s Groundbreaking 1MW Generator

The aviation industry’s first 1-megawatt generator developed by Honeywell will help power a new hybrid-electric rigid airship especially designed to carry 60-ton payloads in and out of hard-to-reach and remote locations.

French and Canadian company Flying Whales will integrate Honeywell’s groundbreaking new generator into the hybrid-electric propulsion system for the LCA60T vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) airship.

The airship’s propulsion system combines the Honeywell generator and a conventional turbine engine to create a 4-megawatt combined powertrain with a much smaller environmental footprint. Both the generator and the jet engine can run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

“Honeywell’s 1 MW generator is the first ever designed to meet the specific requirements of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft like the Flying Whales LCA60T,” said Cristian Anghel, Senior Technical Fellow at Honeywell Aerospace Technologies. “This is breakthrough technology that shows enormous promise for all kinds of cleaner, more efficient aircraft. The LCA60T is just the beginning.”


A Breakthrough 10 Years in the Making

Anghel has been part of the team of Honeywell innovators working on the 1-megawatt generator from the very beginning of the development program more than a decade ago. The team’s hard work, particularly over the last several years, has really paid off. The new generator is truly a technological marvel that can be used either as a generator to recharge the batteries that power an aircraft’s electric motors or as a motor itself to drive aircraft propellers, according to Anghel.

“Our 1 MW generator is more powerful – by a factor of four – than any other aviation generator available today,” he said. “It’s also smaller and lighter, which is very important to aircraft manufacturers like Flying Whales and especially to developers of next-generation hybrid electric power systems for aerospace who will appreciate its small size and power density.”

In fact, the megawatt generator is a cornerstone of Honeywell’s full range of solutions that also include advanced avionics and other systems that will make new generation UAM and UAV aircraft safer, more efficient and more autonomous. The generator is a natural extension of Honeywell’s well-established expertise in aircraft power systems, which extends back to the company’s launch of the first auxiliary power unit (APU) 75 years ago. 

Engineers Put the 1MW Generator to the Test

In November 2022, Honeywell engineers put the generator through its paces at a state-of-the-art Honeywell test cell in Mexicali, Mexico, where it outperformed the launch customer’s requirements. The generator operated at 1.06 MVA and achieved a 1 MW steady state during the challenging proof of concept test regime, Anghel said.

“We performed a variety of assessments including steady-state tests at 1 MW 1,07 kVA levels for extended periods after achieving steady-state operation, then we ran a reduced-speed test at 17,000 rpm,” he said.

“The team monitored operating behaviors and temperatures throughout the process. After the testing process we disassembled the generator and thoroughly inspected the rotor, stator and other key components and no abnormalities were found. The generator performed up to and even beyond our high expectations and achieved 97% efficiency, which was extremely gratifying,” Anghel added.


Flying Whales Prepares for Takeoff

The Flying Whales LCA60T was originally designed to pick up huge loads of timber from hard-to-access spots and take them wherever they need to go. The view of the airship’s potential uses has grown over time to include anything in the heavy-load category from power and construction projects to supply, logistics and humanitarian missions.  

The airship owes its flexibility to its enormous 60-ton payload capacity and its ability to carry cargo suspended below the aircraft or in a large cargo bay, which measures 96 meters long, by 8 meters wide, and 7 meters high. It features unique stationary hovering capabilities that make it ideal for loading and unloading cargo in remote areas. It is 200 meters (more than 650 feet) long and is supported by 10 non-pressurized helium cells that provide lift.

Flying Whales intends to fly the first LCA60T in 2025 and plans to manufacture 150 aircraft in the next 10 years.

For more information on the Honeywell 1-megawatt generator or other solutions visit us online or contact your Honeywell representative. 

Aerospace Technologies Marketing

We inspire innovation. We are passionate and fearless inside and outside of work. We join forces and celebrate our global team. Now you can learn a little bit more about the amazing people that make up our culture at Honeywell Aerospace Technologies.