Imagine being able to fly on a safe and efficient aircraft to a nearby airport, bypassing the traffic congestion and leaving no carbon footprint. That vision could soon become a reality through the work BAE Systems is doing to electrify aircraft.
BAE Systems invested in its operations in Endicott, N.Y. with a multi-million dollar project to support development and advanced manufacturing of subsystems for electric aircraft. The upgraded engineering development, manufacturing and laboratory space focuses on maturing energy storage, controls and power conversion systems for aviation applications.
“Our electrification investment is a great opportunity to develop and deliver important capabilities for an emerging travel ecosystem,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. “The space gives our incredible workforce the core manufacturing capabilities in controls and energy management systems to build on their expertise and innovate for the future of flight.”
Within its existing facility, the project increases the company’s footprint currently used for design, development, and testing of electric propulsion systems for buses and marine vessels. The investment enhances the company’s manufacturing capabilities to enable the transition of electric propulsion technologies to aircraft applications. The project will help address demands for new products in the aerospace industry, supporting next-generation flight for people, cargo and emergency services. In addition, the state-of-the-art space harnesses the use of automation through robotics, improving safety, quality and efficiency during production.
The investment leverages manufacturing techniques and processes established over the course of the company’s 25 years creating similar solutions for transit buses and marine vessels. In addition to development work, the company is also working on aircraft integration and testing. BAE Systems currently tests the safety of its transit and marine systems with 12 motor dynamometers and five engine pods, which simulate rugged environments. It will take a similar approach for aircraft propulsion, which also requires the most stringent testing to ensure the utmost safety over years of flight operations.
BAE Systems entered the aircraft electrification market in 2019. Since then, the company has been developing operational prototypes of its hybrid-electric and all-electric systems. The company is collaborating with industry leaders and its global support and supply chain network in the transit bus, marine and aerospace markets to better understand electric flight requirements.
BAE Systems employs more than 1,300 people in Endicott, New York.