Embry-Riddle, Powering Imagination LLC Partner on Electric Aircraft Project

Share Article

Partners to Create an Electric Flight Program Focused on Reducing Aircraft Emissions and Noise

This aircraft will serve as an investment in the future of sustainable aviation.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Powering Imagination LLC have entered into an agreement to create an electric flight program focused on reducing aircraft emissions and noise through the development of electric propulsion systems.

In announcing their agreement, Erik Lindbergh, CEO of Powering Imagination, and Dr. Richard 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 that aircraft noise is increasingly an issue around the world, restricting access to airports and inconveniencing the surrounding communities. Electric and hybrid-electric power systems offer the potential to significantly reduce both noise and emissions.

Powering Imagination’s Quiet Flight Initiative will partner with the Green Flight Program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus, where students and faculty will convert a Diamond HK36 motorglider to electric power for testing in noise-sensitive areas.

The aircraft will also be used for assessing new components of electric propulsion systems to provide real-world evaluation under flight conditions. This airborne 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 mid-2015 at the Daytona Beach Campus.

“I’m excited about partnering with Embry-Riddle to create technologies and development capabilities that will benefit the entire global electric flight industry,” said Lindbergh.

Eric Bartsch, Chief Operating Officer of Powering Imagination, added, “This aircraft will serve as an investment in the future of sustainable aviation, enabling the research and development of innovations that will transform the future of flight.”

The new partnership is equally welcomed by Embry-Riddle. “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 Dr. Anderson.

Both Powering Imagination and Embry-Riddle are currently raising funds 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 Bartsch at ericb(at)poweringimagination(dot)com or Embry-Riddle Director of Development Lyndse Costabile at lyndse(dot)costabile(at)erau(dot)edu.

Media Contacts

For Powering Imagination, contact Eric Bartsch, Chief Operating Officer; (419) 283-5830; ericb(at)poweringimagination(dot)com.

For Embry-Riddle, contact James Roddey, Communications and Media Relations Manager; (386) 226-6198; james(dot)roddey(at)erau(dot)edu.

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 70 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 http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and http://www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.

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 use 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 to encourage the creation of the electric aircraft industry, and also worked with XPRIZE to encourage private spaceflight.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

James Roddey, Communications & Media Relations Manager