Event Summary – Alternative Energy Sources for VTOL of Tomorrow – November 29th 2023

The Montreal-Ottawa chapter of the VFS close out the 2023 schedule with one last event in Laval QC. Over 50 people showed up to hear representatives from Bell, Siemens and H55 share the exciting work that is being done to bring carbon neutral fuel sources to aviation.

Mathieu Béland hosting the event
Mathieu Béland hosting the event

Thomas Parsons from Bell shared work that was done to accomplish a helicopter flight on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the 505. Thomas walked through an explanation of SAF, how it is made and the difference to conventional Jet A-1 and then the impacts this different chemical composition can have on the fuel system of an aircraft, culminating with the first flight of the 505 using SAF on a sunny day where the smell of jet exhaust on the tarmac was replaced with a faint smell of french fries.

Dr. Pierre Gauthier from Siemens and Concordia University gave the audience a captivating look at how design and modelling of turbine engines must be adjusted to burn hydrogen. From containing leakage problems associated with such a small molecule, to modelling a quantity of smaller flames in an annular combustion chamber, there is some fascinating research being done to bring hydrogen into the skies.

And finally Etienne Ferland and Ryan Pitre showed the steps that H55 takes to electrify fixed wing aircraft today as well as the challenges they are tackling related to electrifying VTOL aircraft. The overall electric conversion architecture, battery form factors and power availability based on state of charge were all topics that came up.

Event Speakers
Mathieu Béland with speakers, from left to right, Étienne Ferland, Ryan Pitre, Thomas Parsons & Dr. Pierre Gauthier

The VFS and the Montreal-Ottawa chapter would like to thank the speakers who volunteered their time to support the event as well as the active & engaged chapter members who came to the event. More learning, networking and growth opportunities are coming in 2024, including the Annual Forum at Palais des Congrès in May.

Note: for confidentiality reasons, recordings of the event cannot be posted to social media so this event will not appear on the VFS YouTube channel.

Event venue
Event attendees at 3 Brasseurs Centropolis, Laval