Up-for-sale Rolls-Royce Electrical has successfully completed an initial run of the 320kW direct-drive electric motor it is developing for the commuter aircraft market.

Carried out at its facilities in Trondheim, Norway, the passive tests of the demonstrator motor proved its basic mechanical and electrical functionality, says the propulsion specialist. Rolls-Royce Electrical will conduct the next phase of testing in Munich, Germany.

CAP motor-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Motor underwent initial testing in Trondheim, Norway

Designed for nine- to 19-seat aircraft, the air-cooled motor is both lightweight and compact.

“With this prototype we have the opportunity to bring this to the test bench and prove the key technology blocks we need,” says William Hunter, lead engineer – motor design, commuter aircraft programme.

“The motor design team believes we have chosen the right technology blocks for a safe commuter aircraft propulsion unit.”

Due to the absence of commercially available alternatives, Rolls-Royce Electrical designed assembly equipment and tooling for the motor, laying the groundwork for future production, it says.

Development of the motor is partially funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Rolls-Royce chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic announced in November that it was seeking a new owner for the electrical business as part of a wider divestment strategy expected to generate up to £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) over the next five years.