United Airlines is exploring options to move its pilot training academy, Aviate, away from internal combustion-powered training aircraft to electric ones.
Today, the airline announced an investment in Electric Power Systems, a company producing battery technology that can potentially be used for a broad suite of aerospace applications.
EPS’s powertrain could serve as the core propulsion system for a family of future electric aircraft concepts, starting with an electric trainer and scaling to larger variants as technology advances.
Additionally, United Airlines has more than 12,000 pieces of motorized ground equipment across its operations, of which about one third are currently electric. EPS’s battery modules could potentially be deployed in support of several uses, including:
• Charging electric ground equipment
• Charging anticipated future electric aircraft such as electric air taxis
• Electrified auxiliary power unit (APU) start products
• Electrified cold-chain storage product for cargo containers