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DSEI 2021: Aeralis signs propulsion agreement with Rolls-Royce

A conceptual image of the family of jet aircraft being developed by Aeralis. (Aeralis)

UK-based Aeralis and Rolls-Royce have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) geared at meeting the propulsion needs of the former's modular jet aircraft.

Signed at the DSEI 2021 defence exhibition in London on 14 September, the MoU will see Rolls-Royce develop new “efficient and sustainable” power solutions to meet customers' operational requirements.

“Rolls-Royce Defence family of digital small propulsion system are being developed rapidly to deliver disruptive and innovative technologies whilst also being more cost-effective. Aeralis [is] keen to take advantage of these advances in propulsion system design for [its] digitally developed modular air system,” Aeralis said in a statement.

Aeralis revealed its common family of advanced jet trainer aircraft in late 2018, when it noted its aim of offering to the market in the early to mid-2020s a series of basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft that share airframe, cockpit, and engine systems. A further concept aircraft, Aeralis-X, is being developed for other possible roles, such as aggressor, aerobatics, and ground attack.

The Aeralis retains a common core fuselage, with the outer wings being interchanged between a straight or swept edge, depending on the requirement. Also, the engine bay can be configured for single or twin powerplant(s). As the company previously told Janes , “One of the challenges with the [BAE Systems] Hawk is that you cannot re-engine the aircraft easily as it is integral to the aircraft. That can be one of the reasons the aircraft gets to [the end of its] life as the engine cannot be replaced. If you want to upgrade the engine, you have to work within the same parameters as when the aircraft was designed.”

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