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Thu, Sep 08, 2022

CTA and ÉNA partner with CAE to Electrify Piper’s Archer

The Quebec-Vero Beach Connection

The Centre Technologique en Aérospatiale (CTA)—a Canadian technological concern dedicated to the application of aerospace technologies—in cooperation with the École Nationale d'Aérotechnique (ÉNA) of Cégep Édouard-Montpetit—the largest college-level institution for aviation technology in North America—are making ready to convert a Piper Archer aircraft to electric power.

The project is headed up by CAE—the Canadian technology company with which every pilot who’s ever sweated out long hours in a level-C or level-D simulator is deeply and personally familiar.

The endeavor sets out to bring an electric version of Piper’s robust and popular PA-28-180 to the new aircraft market, and develop an FAA-Transport Canada approved, conversion kit for extant Piper Archers.

Research teams from the Centre Technologique en Aérospatiale and ÉNA, will ply their experience and expertise to the removal of the Archer’s piston-gasoline engine and the development and integration of an electric propulsion unit suitable to the Archer’s airframe and general aviation mission. The processes will be carefully documented for purpose of better understanding the conversion’s inherent challenges and issues.

ÉNA Director Pascal Désilets states: “Professors from École Nationale d'Aérotechnique, in particular our propulsion experts, will assist the CTA research team. They will develop a better understanding of electric propulsion and the issues involved in replacing piston engines with electric engines. The professors will be able to incorporate this knowledge into their teaching, thereby training a new generation of technicians capable of working on the most environmentally friendly engines.”

CTA General Manager Francis Archambault remarked: “This flagship project will serve as a technological showcase that will have a direct impact on the entire R&D and aeronautics training ecosystem in Québec. It will serve as a springboard for developing world-class expertise in the field of aviation electrification.”

CAE vice president of technology and innovation Marc St. Hilaire added: “We are pleased to be working with CTA and ÉNA, two world-class institutions that will support CAE’s electric aircraft modification program and contribute their solid expertise to shaping the future of sustainable aviation.”

Availing itself of the opportunity proffered by CAE and Piper, Centre Technologique en Aérospatiale will pursue research and development with an eye toward broadening humankind’s knowledge of aero electric propulsion systems and their integration into existing aircraft. In addition, ÉNA, by participating in the research and developmental aspects of the undertaking, will compile curricula by which to train technicians to diagnose, service, and repair electric-powered aircraft.

The database, procedures, and expertise to be developed by Centre Technologique en Aérospatiale and École Nationale d'Aérotechnique, Québec will hasten the aerospace industry’s progress toward green aeronautical propulsion system technologies, and spearhead Canada’s efforts to establish itself among the world-leaders in applied conservationism.  

FMI: www.aerospatiale.org

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