Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Powering Imagination LLC announced that they have entered into an agreement to create an electric flight program focused on reducing aircraft emissions and noise through development of electric propulsion systems.
In announcing their agreement, Erik Lindbergh, CEO of Powering Imagination and Dr. Richard (Pat) Anderson, Director of the Eagle Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle, noted that commercial aviation powerplants emit a significant amount of pollutants into the atmosphere, and aircraft noise is an increasing issue around the world that restricts access to airports and inconveniences neighboring communities. Electric and hybrid-electric power systems offer the potential to significantly reduce both noise and emissions, making aviation more sustainable and opening new possibilities for operations in noise-sensitive areas.
Powering Imagination's Quiet Flight Initiative will be joined with Embry-Riddle's Green Flight Program to enable development of a test aircraft to be used jointly by their programs to accelerate the growth of the electric flight industry. The students and faculty at the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, Florida campus will convert a Diamond HK36 motorglider to electric power. This aircraft will be used for testing in noise-sensitive areas to demonstrate the potential benefits of electric or hybrid-electric propulsion for significantly reducing noise. The aircraft will also be used for testing new components of electric propulsion systems to provide real-world evaluation under flight conditions. This airborne test lab will enable more efficient R&D on electric power systems, by creating an aircraft that can be reconfigured to test new innovations from different companies and development teams.
Embry-Riddle and Powering Imagination estimate that the aircraft will make its first flight in the middle of 2015 at the Embry-Riddle campus in Daytona Beach, Florida. "I'm excited about partnering with Embry-Riddle to create technologies and development capabilities which will benefit the entire global electric flight industry," said Erik Lindbergh, CEO of Powering Imagination. "This aircraft will serve as an investment in the future of sustainable aviation, to enable research and development of innovations that will transform the future of flight," added Eric Bartsch, COO of Powering Imagination.
"Our students are thrilled to be able to apply what we learned in the 2011 NASA Green Flight Challenge and take it to the next level as we collaborate with Powering Imagination," said Richard (Pat) Anderson, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle.
Both Powering Imagination and Embry-Riddle are currently raising funding for this multiyear initiative to enable: the purchase of the HK36 airframe, the conversion of the aircraft to electric power, and the operation of the plane for testing methods of reducing emissions and noise. Corporations and individuals interested in supporting this research program and the development of the electric flight industry, are encouraged to contact either Powering Imagination or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University using the following methods:
o Powering Imagination - Eric Bartsch [email protected]
o Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Lyndse Costabile [email protected]
For regular updates on: Powering Imagination, Erik Lindbergh, and sustainable aviation; follow: https://www.facebook.com/PoweringImagination. For more depth on Powering Imagination projects, go to:
ABOUT POWERING IMAGINATION
Powering Imagination LLC was founded by Erik Lindbergh, grandson of aviation pioneers Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to promote sustainable aviation and innovations in: electric flight, alternative aviation fuels, and aircraft noise reduction. Powering Imagination works with innovators and educators around the world to create a bright future for aviation, and to utilize the dream of flight to inspire the world to make sustainable choices in energy and transportation. Erik Lindbergh previously created the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) to encourage the creation of the electric aircraft industry, and he also worked with XPRIZE to encourage private spaceflight. For more information see: www.PoweringImagination.com
ABOUT EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 60 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering.
Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.