BAE Systems says Britain's future Tempest jet fighter could have power and propulsion from batteries

July 28, 2020
While plans are fluid, the U.K. Ministry of Defence is looking at designs for unmanned drones that could fly alongside fighters like the Tempest.

FARNBOROUGH, England – Officials BAE Systems Plc in Farnborough, England, the developer of Britain’s next jet fighter called the Tempest, say they are considering powering the planned warplane using alternative propulsion such as hybrid or electric systems. Bloomberg reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

28 July 2020 -- BAE Systems, which is working with engine-maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and others, is examining all options to power the plane, says manufacturing director Dave Holmes. The Tempest is due to join the Royal Air Force fleet from 2035.

Electric flight is still in its infancy. One of the biggest challenges remains the weight of the batteries necessary to get anything other than a very small plane into the air. Rolls-Royce developed a hybrid-electric commercial-aircraft concept called E-Fan X with European planemaker Airbus SE, though the project was suspended this year as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on the sector.

BAE Systems officials say they envision using new manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing on the Tempest. They also will work with Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd. in Grove, England, to adapt battery-management and cooling technologies used in Formula E race cars. The company, part of Formula 1 supplier Williams Grand Prix Holdings Plc, aims to deliver light-weight energy at says its technical director, Paul McNamara.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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