Delta is beginning its first electric aviation project, working on an energy system for Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS).
CAeS is the lead partner in “Project Fresson”, a 30 month project to design, manufacture and integrate a hybrid-electric propulsion system into a 9-seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, typically used on short flights such as island-hopping routes.
Delta Managing Director, Simon Dowson, said: “This is our first aviation project and it is very challenging from an engineering perspective because of the environment it is being designed for.
“The performance of the system is very high because of the energy/power needed to reach the required altitude and then, when you get to that altitude, you have to factor in things such as temperature and pressure.
“It is requiring a lot of effort because not many people have tried this before, plus there are a lot of regulatory things to work through, however, at the same time it is very exciting.”
Other partners in the project include Rolls-Royce, who will be supplying the power management system; the Denis Ferranti Group, supplying the electric motors; WMG (University of Warwick), who will perform battery testing and characterisation, and Britten-Norman, providing the baseline aircraft and aircraft data/design support.