CAE has partnered with Piper Aircraft to develop a conversion kit via a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for in-service Piper Archer (PA-28-181) aircraft and bring an electric variant option of the iconic aircraft to market.
CAE expects to convert two-thirds of its Piper Archer training fleet and develop a curriculum for new pilots to train on the operation of electric aircraft. CAE is bringing together industry leaders from Canada, the United States, and Europe to develop an aircraft that will reduce carbon emissions and noise levels at its flight schools around the world, while training future pilots to operate electric aircraft.
CAE and Piper Aircraft intend to work together on an electrical conversion kit for third parties, along with training and support services required for the operation of electrified Piper Archer aircraft.
Executives from CAE, Piper Aircraft, and project partners joined the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry as well as Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation for the announcement.
H55 of Switzerland is set to provide the battery system. H55 is one of the leading aerospace battery and propulsion system suppliers with years of successful electric flight experience, including the technology used in all of the Solar Impulse airplanes. In addition to developing clean propulsion technologies, battery packs and energy management solutions for new airplanes, H55 is also active in transforming existing designs.
CAE is also engaging with Safran Electrical & Power to incorporate the new ENGINeUSTM 100 electric smart motor into the STC conversion kit. The ENGINeUSTM 100 delivers 150 kW maximum at take-off power and features a fully integrated motor controller within the machine. The thermal management is provided by an optimized air-cooling system. The new motor is aligned with CAE’s flight training operating requirements. Safran Electrical & Power is a global leader in aircraft electrical systems. The company has extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to provide its customers with solutions for electric powertrains and equipment electrification.
The development of the electric conversion kit is part of Project Resilience through which CAE is investing C$1 billion in innovation over five years in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec to develop aviation and cross-sectoral digital technologies of the future. CAE will draw on the expertise of Canada’s strong Aerospace cluster and will collaborate and co-develop technology solutions with OEMs, small and medium sized companies, post-secondary institutions, and research centers from across Quebec and Canada.