Raytheon Technologies' corporate venture capital group, RTX Ventures, yesterday signed an agreement to invest in VerdeGo Aero to accelerate the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for advanced air mobility applications.
This investment will also provide opportunities for VerdeGo Aero to collaborate with Pratt & Whitney on future product development.
Established in 2017, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based company specializes in delivering powerplants that efficiently convert jet fuel or sustainable aviation fuel into electric power, enabling greater performance and mission capability for a wide range of electric aircraft segments including drones, electric vertical-take-off-and landing (eVTOL), short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) aircraft, regional aircraft, and high-speed VTOL airframes. VerdeGo Aero's current hybrid powertrain programs range from 150kW up to multiple megawatts of continuous electrical output.
"Delivering sustainable aviation technologies to help our customers bend the emissions curve remains one of Raytheon Technologies' most important priorities," said Daniel Ateya, managing director of RTX Ventures. "Our investment represents one of the ways we're working to deliver a more sustainable future."
RTX Ventures is the lead investor in VerdeGo Aero's $12 million Series A funding round, which will support VerdeGo Aero's expansion and development of its growing portfolio of hybrid-electric powertrain systems, including the VH-3 185kW powerplant. Other investors participating in the funding round include DiamondStream Partners, Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation, Seyer Industries, and Standish Spring Investments.
"VerdeGo Aero is excited about the opportunity to continue to develop technologies that convert aircraft engines into hybrid powerplants, and to expand our portfolio offerings and customer base," said Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero. "As VerdeGo continues its recruiting of technical and commercial aerospace experts, our growing team is looking forward to leveraging a strong relationship with Pratt & Whitney to address the needs of the hybrid-electric aircraft segment at multiple power levels."
VerdeGo Aero is currently developing its third generation of full-scale hybrid-electric powerplant hardware, having already delivered pre-production powerplants for flight test operations. Employing a high-speed development culture, the company is significantly expanding its team of industry-leading electric propulsion experts, creating numerous opportunities for engineering, marketing, finance, and project management professionals working among a world-class team of innovators.
"VerdeGo Aero is helping to pioneer the emerging field of hybrid-electric propulsion technology, which has an important role to play in enabling the aviation industry's goal of reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050," said Graham Webb, chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney. "This investment has promising potential to enhance our technology and capability in segments of our small engine business while moving quickly and nimbly to advance our hybrid-electric propulsion strategy."