In a ceremony at its Rockford, Illinois campus today, 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.
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.
At the opening, Collins displayed its 1MW motor and for the first time unveiled a 250 kilowatt motor. As Collins leaders explained, the company's technology roadmap calls for a family of electric motors that can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of all aircraft segments.