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The ENGINeUS™ XL electrical motor: from 500kW to 1 MW!


Safran Electrical & Power has spent the last three years rolling out its roadmap for the ENGINeUS™ 500 electric motor, the most powerful in the range, which has just been renamed the ENGINeUS™ XL. In early 2023, it underwent altitude tests in a climate chamber and achieved product status, capable of delivering 750kW. It’s now ready to go to market!

Electric motor ENGINeUSTM XL, from 500kW to 1 MW

Making planes electric and hybrid is one of the key facets of Safran's strategy for decarbonizing aviation. In line with this strategy, Safran Electrical & Power is rolling out its all-electric and hybrid propulsion roadmap, with the development of the ENGINeUS™ line of electric motors. The range includes the ENGINeUS™ 50, the ENGINeUS™ 100 and the ENGINeUS™ XL, the latter being the most powerful in the product lineup.

The ENGINeUS™ XL is a genuine technological masterpiece that enables us to target various different aircraft architecture types and market segments. It will enable us not only to design all-electric small “commuter”-type aircraft, but also to produce much larger hybrid aircraft engines. This is a vital component of the Safran group's decarbonization strategy,” explains Bruno Bellanger, Vice President & General Manager of the Power division of Safran Electrical & Power.

In recent years, the ENGINeUS™ XL has passed several major milestones:

1 Megawatt achieved in laboratory tests

In late 2021, as part of a NASA initiative, Safran Electrical & Power successfully partnered with a major industry player on a laboratory test campaign for an electric propulsion system driven by two ENGINeUS™ XL electric motors and powered by batteries. “The results exceeded our expectations: Both motors, with their on-board control electronics, delivered over 1,000 kW of continuous power at 1,900 rpm, 5,000 Nm of torque, and an overall efficiency for the whole system of greater than 95% at cruising speed. That’s exceptional! 1 MW of mechanical power delivered by an electromagnetic conversion system represents 10 times the power of a Renault Zoe, with a fivefold power-to-weight ratio improvement compared to automotive solutions,” says Florent Nierlich, Technical and Innovation Vice President at Safran Electrical & Power.

Successful altitude tests in a climate chamber

More recently in 2023, the electric motor was subjected to altitude tests in a climate chamber to provide it with a more representative operating environment. The goal was to understand how the electric motor behaves at altitude. It represents the first time that Safran Electrical & Power has put an entire chain of liquid-cooled electric motors in a climate chamber.

The ENGINeUS™ XL: Ready to go to market

On the strength of these results, which mark the culmination of three years of development efforts, the ENGINeUS™ XL has now achieved product status. Its new version can deliver 750kW per motor and is ready for a market launch. It can also potentially be extended to 1 MW.

It's the most efficient aeronautical electric motor in this power range. It will provide the means to power all-electric 9-seater aircraft, up to regional shuttles or commuters. We’re currently responding to several customer requests,” says Thierry Sieg, Sales and Marketing Vice President at Safran Electrical & Power.