French firms team for electric aircraft power

French firms team for electric aircraft power

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

French engineering firm Akka Technologies is working with aircraft manufacturer Aura Aero in Toulouse on a 19 seat ERA (Electrical Regional Aircraft) and INTEGRAL-E, an electric aerobatic aircraft.

Akka will use its expertise in battery management systems (BMS) and electrification from the aeronautics and automotive business to support Aura in both projects over the next two years with the development of several technology blocks for the ERA as well as to the development and the integration of a BMS for the INTEGRAL-E aircraft.

Akka expects to build an experienced team of 40 engineers at its two Toulouse-based Engineering and Aviation Centres of Expertise to provide R&D capabilities to Aura Aero. Airbus also has a major engineering plant in Toulouse. The move comes as another French aircraft maker, Safran, starts development of an 8 seater electric regional aircraft.

“We are very pleased to be able to work with Akka to develop the new Aura Aero programme,” said Jérémy Caussade, President and co-founder of Aura. “The skills provided will strengthen our internal expertise and will contribute to the development of our new ERA aircraft, a 19-seat electrically powered regional aircraft that is eco-efficient and innovative. More than ever, we are aware that women and men are at the heart of our current and future success.”

“This partnership illustrates AKKA’s agility in leveraging its deep domain expertise in the aeronautical sector out of Occitanie to contribute to the development of projects set to pave the way to the future of the aviation,” said Stéphane Latieule, SVP Aerospace at AKKA France.

Akka has been recovering from the effects of the pandemic, says Mauro Ricci, chairman and CEO of Akka.

“We have accelerated our business repositioning with multiple initiatives to leverage our core business, diversifying our capabilities in digital across all our sectors, and in R&D with Akka Research,” he said. “On the strength of our work on getting our organisations leaner and tightly managing our cost base with a relentless focus on cash management, we are already bearing the first fruits. The profit of each and every one of our business units is back in the positive territory, while the revenue growth in Q3 and in Q4 confirm the gradual recovery of the activity.”

“We expect the gradual and moderate upturn to continue in H1 2021 and to accelerate in H2 2021 with good momentum in our digital activities and in most of our sectors,” he said.

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