Siemens and Rolls-Royce signed an agreement for the sale of Siemens’ eAircraft unit. Siemens say that the company’s business with electric and hybrid-electric systems for aircraft will have substantially better growth perspectives with new owners closely connected to the aerospace industry.
Closing of the deal is subject to the usual conditions and is expected to take place in late 2019. The partners have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.
“Our eAircraft team, under the leadership of Frank Anton, has made aviation history several times in the past ten years and is a pioneer in electric and hybrid-electric systems for aircraft,” said Roland Busch, CTO and COO of Siemens AG. “With Rolls-Royce, we’ve found a perfect home for this business and have placed its expertise in the hands of one of Airbus’ close partners. We will continue to cooperate with Rolls-Royce, in particular by making our digital solutions portfolio available in order to facilitate this major step toward sustainable, lower-emission aviation.”
In 2017, the Extra 330LE powered by the electric-propulsion system from Siemens became the world’s first electric aircraft to tow a glider
As an in-house startup with around 180 employees, Siemens eAircraft develops electric and hybrid-electric engine systems for the aerospace industry. At locations in Munich and Erlangen (Germany) and Budapest (Hungary), the unit has been cooperating with partners like Airbus to create prototypes for engine systems with power ratings ranging from less than one hundred to several thousand kilowatts.
To further drive the technology, eAircraft entered a development partnership with Airbus in 2016. Siemens has been researching and developing electric aircraft propulsion systems for about ten years, setting several records along the way.