EP Systems Flies on Embraer’s All-Electric Flight Demonstrator EMB-203 Ipanema

Published on August 25, 2021
Written by April Becerra

Sao Paulo, Brazil; North Logan, UT, United States, August 18, 2021 – Electric Power Systems’ battery system powered the successful first flight of Embraer’s all-electric EMB-203 Ipanema last week. The testbed flights were conducted at Embraer’s Gaviao Peixoto facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This effort supports Embraer’s recent commitment to reaching carbon neutral operations by 2040. The EMB-203 Ipanema is the first step in developing alternative propulsion technologies to passenger aircraft, and its results will guide the company’s next steps in development.

Luis Carlos Affonso—Embraer’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Technology Development, and Corporate Strategy—stated the following.

“First flights are always emotional moments in our industry. This testbed will help develop knowledge about batteries, electric motors, thermal management, electric control systems, high voltage handling and safety of flight. That will then be applied to our future programs.”

The Ipanema battery system is one of over a dozen all-electric and hybrid-electric flight demonstration aircraft Electric Power Systems batteries have flown on since 2019. Michael Duffy –Electric Power Systems’ Vice President of Product—stated the following.

“EP Systems has been gaining more experience with each-and-every flight of our battery systems.  We have taken this experience and knowledge and created the EPiC Ecosystem product line that can fit into almost any future electric aircraft because of its modularity and flexibility.”

About Embraer

Embraer S.A. is an aerospace designer, manufacturer, and supplier based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It focuses on serving the commercial, defense, executive, and agricultural sectors. It also provides aviation support services and parts.

Embraer is one of the largest and most prominent aerospace companies in the world, with its roots stemming back to the 1960s. Throughout the years, Embraer has established itself as a market-conscious, innovative, production-oriented force in the industry. It is most well-known for its implementation of advanced technology and its strategic partnerships with some of the industry’s most robust players. Its Phenom 300 aircraft is currently the best-selling executive jet in the world. In 2017, EmbraerX was created to revolutionize urban air mobility by developing leading electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs).

About Electric Power Systems

Electric Power Systems (EP Systems) is a leading provider of high-power, scalable powertrains that are certifiable for electrified aviation. It develops energy storage systems, DC fast-charging stations, and electric propulsion products for Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, Marine, and Industrial Traction industries. EP Systems has numerous battery systems currently powering customer flight demonstrator vehicles (e.g., NASA X-57, Bell Nexus, Aurora Flight Sciences Pegasus, Embraer Ipanema, and Boeing CAV). Advanced features produce safer battery systems resulting in a perfect safety record in field. EP Systems is currently partnered with the FAA to certify batteries for general aviation aircraft and will complete its first TSO in early 2022.

Boeing and Safran invested in EP Systems in 2019 and 2021 to enhance its research and development, energy storage, and electric propulsion capabilities. EP Systems’ current, publicly announced customers include NASA, the FAA, Boeing, Safran, Bell Textron, and Embraer. Electric Power Systems currently produces over 2MWh in battery systems per year and is scaling bringing a 70,000 square-foot facility online in 2022, with production starting at 100MWh per year.


Grace McGuire