In a ceremony at its Rockford, Illinois campus, Collins Aerospace celebrated the opening of The Grid—a $50 million advanced electric power systems lab. Collins, an RTX business, will use the new facility to develop and test key components for hybrid-electric propulsion and more electric systems, a central pillar of the aviation industry's drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
"Hybrid-electric aircraft will help our industry significantly reduce carbon emissions, and with The Grid, the most sophisticated lab of its kind, we are investing to help these aircraft take flight," said Henry Brooks, president, Power & Controls for Collins Aerospace. "In the coming years, we will use The Grid to break new ground in the development of electric systems that are more powerful, more efficient and lighter than ever before. And in doing so, we will help create a new generation of green aircraft that operate more sustainably with reduced impact on our environment."
With 25,000 square feet of space and an initial test capability of 8 megawatts (MW), The Grid will allow Collins to produce cutting-edge electric motors, controllers, generators and distribution systems. For example, Collins will use The Grid to test its 1MW motor for the RTX hybrid-electric flight demonstrator and the European Union's Clean Aviation SWITCH program, as well as its 1MW generator for the Air Force Research Laboratory.