TORONTO—Centennial College has received $2.3 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to research electric landing gear for energy-efficient aircraft.
The federal funding is part of a $37.5 million commitment to 37 applied research projects at colleges and research institutes across Canada.
With the aerospace industry investing in weight reduction to make aircraft more fuel efficient, replacing heavy hydraulic systems with electric-actuated landing gear is an attractive goal for manufacturers. To this end, Centennial College is developing new landing gear technology with Safran Landing Systems, an Ajax, Ont.-based landing gear manufacturer.
Electric-actuated landing gear uses an electric motor to control the functions of the gear, replacing systems run by heavy hydraulic pistons and reducing aircraft weight.
“NSERC funding is a key component of our near-term research activities in Canada and enables Safran to engage in collaborative innovation between not only Centennial but other Canadian industrial partners,” said Joseph Lan, Research and Technology program manager, Safran Landing Systems.
“This research project is a prime example of the kind of collaborative work we plan to incubate at the DAIR research centre, which eventually will adjoin our aerospace campus in Downsview Park,” said Ann Buller, president of Centennial College.
DAIR is a consortium of industry leaders and academic partners intent on building a global aerospace hub in Toronto.
The landing gear research program is worth nearly $8 million in total, and represents the single largest applied research initiative in Centennial College’s 50-year history. Centennial operates the largest transportation technology training centre in Canada at its Ashtonbee Campus, and is poised to open its aerospace campus at Downsview Park in the fall of 2018.