Airborne Joins 1.44 Million Grant Awarded by EFRO for Smart Rotors Project

February 08 (2021

An important step towards a more sustainable aviation and parcel and passenger transport via drones was taken with the allocation of 1.44 million euros to the Smart Rotors project. The European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO) awarded the grant to TU Delft, Royal NLR, KVE, Airborne and RHIA, with the cooperation of InnovationQuarter. The grant enables the development of ultra-efficient propeller and rotor blades, specifically for hybrid and electric aircraft, Urban Air Mobility and drones.

The development of ‘smart rotors’ is an important step towards a more sustainable aviation, less emissions and less noise pollution, as well as parcel delivery via drones and of course will also support the further development of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

The project aims to design the rotors for hybrid and electric aircraft and drones more efficiently, so that they perform better and produce less noise.

In addition, smarter production methods are being looked into, so that future aircraft and drones can be equipped with suitable propeller and rotor blades faster and on a larger scale. The project is part of the Next Aviation Field lab that focuses on the development, testing and implementation of sustainable aviation technology in a real airport environment at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

Airborne’s scope:

• Concept design of a line for the manufacturing of the blades & identify the technology required to achieve this
• Development of technologies such as automated preforming with dry fibers
• Proof of concept / pilot line

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