WEG and Embraer have entered a scientific and technological cooperation agreement to jointly develop new technologies and solutions for electric propulsion in aircraft.

This partnership aims to speed up the knowledge of the technologies required to boost the energy efficiency of aircraft from the use and integration of electric motors in innovative propulsion systems.

The electrification process forms a part of a series of initiatives by the aeronautical industry towards environmental sustainability.

Embraer executive vice-president of engineering and technology Daniel Moczydlower said: “By creating this technological development agreement with WEG, we have combined more than 100 years of innovation from two leading companies in generating knowledge and strengthening the supply chain, as well as increasing Brazilian competitiveness in the global market.

“Advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of urban and regional air mobility that is more accessible to the population.”

The cooperation is intended to support the creation of technologies that can generate opportunities for future evolutions of new aeronautical configurations, as well as the possibility of developing market segments.

Furthermore, cooperation and long-term incentive policies are expected to boost Brazil’s intent to become a world leader in sustainable technologies.

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WEG Automation managing director Manfred Peter Johann said: “Our powertrain technology, developed over years for tried and tested applications in trains, buses, trucks and boats, and in constant evolution, has paved the way for this exciting scientific and technological cooperation project.

“Advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of urban and regional air mobility.”

“Together with Embraer, we will work not only to enable the electric propulsion of aircraft but also to increase the technological capacity of WEG, of Embraer and of Brazil, taking our country to an even more competitive level.”

These technologies will be tested in the laboratory, which will be followed by an aeronautical platform used for integration and testing of complex systems under real operating conditions.

A small single-engine aircraft, based on the EMB-203 Ipanema, will be used as the test bed for primary evaluation of the electrification technology.

The first flight of the electric powered demonstrator is scheduled for 2020.