Airbus Selects Nidec to Develop Electric Motors for Prototype

Airbus aims to bring the first zero-emission commercial aircraft to market by 2035.


French electric motor manufacturer Nidec Leroy-Somer has signed an agreement with Airbus to develop an electric motor for its hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine prototype, as part of Airbus’ goal to bring the first zero-emission commercial aircraft to market by 2035.

Nidec Leroy-Somer has already provided advanced technologies to many industries, including nuclear, railway, automotive, robotics and the Navy.

High level requirements

Leroy-Somer, part of the Japanese Nidec Group since 2017, is entrusted to design and develop a series of electric motor prototypes which meet very high requirements in terms of safety, reliability, energy-efficiency and lowest weight for the targeted power. Its Research & Development Team is also challenged to explore breakthrough technologies and innovations to optimize the architecture of the aircraft propulsion system.

Project management, design, engineering and prototyping will all be done from its headquarters in Angouleme, France.

Meeting the performance

Prototypes, designed for performance and integration in Airbus’ zero-emission hydrogen powered fuel cell engine, will first be tested on ground using dedicated test benches. Following the initial qualification and validation, a second phase of in-flight testing will be conducted.

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