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Safran signs deal with FLYING WHALES to equip its LCA60T airship with electrical systems

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Toulouse – November 3, 2021 - FLYING WHALES, which is developing an ambitious program for an airship with a large cargo capacity, and Safran Electrical & Power, a world leader in aeronautical electrical systems, have announced the signature of an agreement to fit the LCA60T airships with electrical generation, distribution and conversion systems.

The LCA60T (Large Capacity Airship 60 Tons) from FLYING WHALES, for the first time in aviation history, will allow to load and unload up to 60 tons of freight in hover flight. This rigid airship is intended for the wood longshoring, freight and exceptional transport markets. It provides an advantageous solution to global requirements for transporting heavy or oversized loads, for point-to-point transfer at low operating costs and reduced environmental impact compared to other options.

Safran Electrical & Power will provide all of the electrical systems for powering the equipment and managing the non-propulsive electrical networks of the airship, meaning for each aircraft: the electrical generation system; the complete electrical distribution system; the power converters, which will convert 115 V alternating current into 28 V direct current; and the batteries. Safran Electrical & Power will also provide after-sales support for this equipment.

The contract concerns the entire fleet of 150 airships for the first ten years of production. Safran Electrical & Power will deliver the first electrical equipment at the end of 2022 for the ground tests. Meanwhile, FLYING WHALES is planning the first flight of its airship for the end of 2024 and the entry into service at the beginning of 2026.

"We are very proud to be among the partners of FLYING WHALES, a gem of French industry that is offering a cutting-edge project fully aligned with our driving principles: providing point-to-point transport and helping to reduce the carbon intensity of aircraft," said Hervé Blanc, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Power division at Safran Electrical & Power. "After having designed the electrical systems of the brand-new generations of hybrid and fully electric aircraft, we are reaching a new stage in the revolution of aviation with this visionary and unique project."

"To carry out an aeronautical program as innovative and ambitious as the LCA60T, the quality of the industrial partnerships is crucial. Working hand-in-hand with Safran Electrical & Power is most certainly a guarantee of success in electrifying the world's largest aircraft. The architecture of the LCA60T's electrical system requires us to venture into an unprecedented area. This is what the teams at Safran Electrical & Power and our teams are succeeding in doing," said Vincent Guibout, Technical Director and Deputy Managing Director of FLYING WHALES.

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.

Safran Electrical & Power is one of the world's leaders in aircraft electrical systems. The company is a key player in equipment electrification and in the electric and hybrid propulsion sector. It has 11,500 employees across 13 different countries.

For more information: www.safran-group.com

FLYING WHALES is a French company headquartered in Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine). Founded in 2012, the company is developing, thanks to its innovations and the quality of its teams and its industrial consortium an ambitious, world-first program, the LCA60T, a rigid airship for transporting heavy loads with a 60-ton cargo capacity. Originally designed to meet longshoring needs for the renewable resource of wood in areas difficult to access, the LCA60T, thanks to its unique characteristics of loading and unloading in hover flight, aims to provide a response to numerous logistical and isolation problems worldwide with a very low environmental footprint. This solution will provide a low-cost way to overcome all constraints on the ground for the point-to-point transport of heavy or high-volume loads. Lastly, FLYING WHALES is also developing FLYING WHALES SERVICES, the company operating the LCA60T.

For more information: www.flying-whales.com

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  • © FLYING WHALES