GE Aerospace developing hybrid electric engines for single aisle jets: report

GE Aerospace is reportedly developing a hybrid electric engine aimed at powering next-generation narrow-body jets by the mid-2030s, Reuters reported. The innovative technology holds promise for significantly reducing carbon emissions in the aviation industry, which heavily relies on single-aisle jets. Despite the widespread use of hybrid cars, decarbonizing aerospace remains challenging.

The hybrid engine combines jet fuel or sustainable aviation fuels with electricity, potentially cutting fuel consumption by up to 5%. Working with NASA, GE is embedding electric motors or generators in a high-bypass turbofan to enhance power efficiency. Initial tests of the hybrid components and the engine have been completed, with integrated testing planned next.

The aviation industry, responsible for about 2% of global emissions, aims for net-zero emissions by 2050, though electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft technologies remain unproven. GE Aerospace's hybrid engine project is part of broader efforts to develop fuel-efficient technologies. In collaboration with France's Safran, GE is also testing an open-bladed jet engine for medium-haul jets, targeting a 20% reduction in fuel use and emissions.

Despite ongoing supply chain challenges, GE Aerospace is working to support increased production rates in the coming years. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that GE Aerospace CEO Larry Culp has rejected Boeing's offer to take over as its top boss from outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun. Culp told Reuters earlier this year that he can best serve Boeing by being a parts supplier.

Amidst regulatory scrutiny and quality issues, Boeing's jet production has slowed, impacting the supply chain and jet engine repair turnaround times.

Boeing CEO Calhoun is planning to step down by the end of the year, but there are growing calls for the embattled leader to resign immediately following a series of scandals that have plagued the aeroplane manufacturer.