Cranfield welcomes Evolito on to hydrogen demonstrator Project Fresson


Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) has brought Evolito onboard as the motor and inverter supplier for its hydrogen-powered aircraft demonstrator – Project Fresson.

Evolito joins Reaction Engines and Ricardo as technology collaborators on Project Fresson. Based in Oxfordshire, the startup is the aerospace spin out of YASA – a specialist in automotive axial-flux electric motors.

Mukesh Patel, chief engineer at Evolito said: “It’s great to see our D1500 motors, powering Cranfield’s hydrogen electric aircraft. The Fresson project is the first application showcasing our high redundancy 2×3 phase direct drive electric motor, providing industry leading torque & efficiency to the aircraft.

“We’re delighted to be involved with cutting edge initiatives, and this project is testament to technology innovation and its role in reshaping the aviation industry,” he added.

Evolito motors are smaller, lighter, and typically four times more power dense than radial flux solutions, according to the firm. It also claims axial-flux technology requires up to 75% less iron, less copper and fewer permanent magnets than other radial solutions.

For Project Fresson, the weight of the motor and controller is key in the overall mass of the hydrogen electric propulsion system, which must be minimised in order to maximise the payload and range. The motor also produces efficiency benefits from its novel cooling systems, meaning the it should never overheat and can run on max performance at all times, said Evolito.

Director of engineering, Rob Marsh, said: “Evolito’s revolutionary motor isn’t just lighter and more efficient, it’s also an extremely compact solution that has allowed CAeS to integrate and package the technology efficiently, as part of the 240kW Fresson fuel-cell propulsion system that has been packaged within the Islander engine nacelle.”