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LaunchPoint Commences Shipping Hybrid Electric Motors

New 12 kW System Suited to Large Drones and AAM Vehicles

Founded in 1992 and born of a California-based technology incubator and think-tank, LaunchPoint designs and manufactures high specific-power electric machines and controller solutions for the aerospace, defense, thermal management, power generation, and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sectors.

In 2010, with U.S. government funding, LaunchPoint’s engineering group commenced designing a novel electric architecture to generate power for flight applications. Over the next ten-years, the company developed and patented electric machines, hybrid generator sets, and aerospace turbogenerators for extended flight.

In 2023, LaunchPoint continues to develop electric and hybrid electric power systems and software. The company’s proprietary Modeling Advanced Aircraft Propulsion (MAAP) tool is a software suite conducive to the optimization of hundreds of variables germane to propulsion and power generation system design and performance. LaunchPoint’s highly efficient, power-dense electric machines and GenSets can be either air or liquid-cooled and controlled by means of the company’s SmartPoint software.

Currently LaunchPoint products power unmanned aerial systems in the 1.5 kW to 40 kW range and air mobility for passenger and cargo applications in the 40 kW to 250 kW range.

On 24 April 2023, LaunchPoint announced it had begun shipments of its 12 kW motor and controller solution for hybrid-electric aircraft.

The new motor system is designed for and compatible with both VTOL and fixed-wing applications in which low-weight, high-power solutions are required. The product’s underlying purpose is to help companies currently developing new electric and hybrid aircraft to increase their respective products’ payloads, ranges, and performance capabilities.

Released as a single product, LaunchPoint’s 12 kW motor system comprises two discrete 6 kW electric motors stacked on a single engine shaft. The product package includes the interface, documentation, and software required to pair the system’s alternator to a host aircraft for a fully-functioning hybrid generator system.

The first 12 kW units were shipped to LaunchPoint customers in 2022’s fourth quarter. Subject units were slated, primarily, for inclusion in high-power drones with large payloads and extended flight requirements.

Ishikawa Energy Research Company CEO Mitsuru Ishikawa stated: “LaunchPoint’s generator technology represents the best power-to-weight ratio among other competing technologies. Our projects are joint developments with top Japanese manufacturers and require the weight and power advantages that LaunchPoint offers for our drone programs.”

Based in Goleta, California, LaunchPoint, to date, has conducted numerous successful seed funding rounds and earned several customers in the growing sustainable aviation industry.



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