Calling all AvGeeks! Join us for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum panel “Working Toward Greener Skies” highlighting aviation industry efforts towards sustainable air travel.
On Wednesday, October 6 from 8-9 PM EST, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will present a free, virtual discussion featuring GE Aviation’s Mohamed Ali, vice president of engineering, to review the latest sustainability initiatives and the future of air travel.
As consumers, we might not always think about sustainability as it relates to air travel, but the aviation industry is actively working to make your flight more efficient, more innovative, and ultimately, more green. From developing new fuels to engineering entirely new fleets of vehicles and even experimenting with battery power, innovators are defining what the future of air travel will look like.
Mohamed will be joined by two industry experts for the panel: Sean Clarke, NASA’s X-57 principal investigator, and Amanda Simpson, vice president of research and technology at Airbus Americas. Graham Warwick, executive editor of technology for Aviation Week, will moderate.
As part of the panel, Mohamed will speak on GE Aviation’s new technology demonstration programs, including the CFM RISE* (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) Program with Safran, and the Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Partnership with NASA on hybrid electric
On Friday, October 1, GE Aviation announced NASA selected the jet engine maker for a new research partnership to launch a hybrid electric technology demonstrator program. Plans are to conduct ground and flight tests of a megawatt (MW) class hybrid electric propulsion system by the mid-2020s.
As part of NASA’s EPFD project, a total $260 million will be invested by NASA, GE Aviation and GE partners over five years to accelerate the introduction of hybrid electric flight technologies for commercial aviation. After years of maturing individual components of a hybrid electric system—motors, generators, and power converters—GE will systematically mature an integrated hybrid electric powertrain to demonstrate flight readiness for single-aisle aircraft.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with NASA to take hybrid electric aircraft engines out of our test labs and into the sky, bringing more sustainable technology solutions to commercial aviation as quickly as possible,” Ali said.
CFM RISE Program
In June 2021, GE and Safran Aircraft Engines came together to announce the RISE program, targeting a 20% reduction in carbon emissions and fuel consumption compared to today’s most efficient engines.
Central to the program is state-of-the-art propulsive efficiency for the engine, including developing an open fan architecture. This is a key enabler to achieving significantly improved fuel efficiency while delivering the same speed and cabin experience as current single-aisle aircraft. The program will also use hybrid electric capability to optimize engine efficiency while enabling electrification of many aircraft systems.
*RISE is a registered trademark of CFM International, a 50-50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.