The weight of the batteries is the main obstacle to the large-scale deployment of electric-powered aircraft. To offer a slimming diet to the cabin of its aircraft, Heart Aerospace turned to Quebec know-how.
Posted at 6:00 a.m.
Without fanfare, the MSB Group has been forging ties with the Swedish start-up for about two years. It was the subsidiary of the French group Sogeclair which was chosen to supply the parts for the cabin.
“Each book counts, explains Billy Darveau, director of engineering at MSB, in a telephone interview. A pound more on the plane means a pound less for a passenger or luggage. It’s critical. »
The company had a dual mandate to meet Heat Aerospace’s requirements: find solutions to lighten the cabin, without “going too far” and to delay the program, underlines Mr. Darveau.
“You have to be careful not to push too hard because production has to start quickly,” he says. We have therefore favored certain materials rather than others. Thermoplastic materials can be given as an example. »
In Quebec, the MSB Group already does business with major clients, such as Bombardier and Airbus. Even if the Swedish start-up is not its biggest customer, the ES-30 aircraft project has a special character, says Mr. Darveau.
“As a company, participating in the emergence of a new aircraft program is rare,” he points out. What Heart Aerospace liked about MSB is that we are used to working with big players while remaining flexible. We can turn on a dime. »
The volume of work is expected to increase over the coming months within the Sogeclair subsidiary. Even though the ES-30 prototype still hasn’t made test flights, the parts should be ready. There is still engineering work to be done.
Although the assembly line will be in Sweden, it is the Montreal facilities of the MSB Group that will benefit from the economic spinoffs of the contract. All the parts will be manufactured in the company’s Quebec facilities, assures Mr. Darveau.
“We will send them a kit that can be installed there inside the cabin,” he said.
The latter considers the agreement with Heart Aerospace as a calling card with other promoters of electric aircraft. When the time comes to “design electric aircraft interiors, we will be one step ahead of the others,” believes Mr. Darveau.
- MSB Group workforce in Quebec