VerdeGo awarded NASA SBIR Ignite programme contract


VerdeGo Aero has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract as part of NASA’s SBIR Ignite programme. 

During the six-month effort, VerdeGo will demonstrate how its hybrid-electric powerplant VH-3-185 has multiple applications by completing conceptual design studies on four types of electric aircraft. SBIR Ignite is a pilot initiative which enables awardees to use NASA as a stepping stone in their path towards commercial success. 

“VerdeGo Aero is honoured to have been selected by NASA for the SBIR Ignite program,” said Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero. “The VH-3 is a Hyper-efficient technology that enables electric aircraft to have the range and endurance needed for safe and practical operations. When paired with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the VH-3 provides a fully sustainable powerplant solution.” 

Built around a custom version of an EASA-certified and FAA-validated aviation compression engine, VH-3-185 generates 185 kW (249 hp) of electricity to power the electric motors of an electric aircraft. The VH-3 uses commonly available fuel and boasts an industry-leading fuel burn of about 10 gallons per hour at full throttle. 

“The VH-3 can be a game-changer for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft,” said Dave Spitzer, VerdeGo’s vice president of Product Development. “The batteries in eVTOL aircraft can provide a lot of power, but not for long periods adding a ton of weight to the aircraft. The VH-3, when paired with three hours of fuel, weighs about 80% less than a battery that could provide the same flight time.” 

Riccardo Roiati, VerdeGo’s principal investigator for the study, added: “We’re excited to show NASA and the world what the VH-3 can do – its flexibility, its efficiency, and how it can be applied to different electrified aircraft.”