Hybrid aircraft charger prototype developed and tested at two AMC air ports

Chief Staff Sgt. Troy Saunders, now retired USAF vehicle fleet manager, started the Halvorsen prototype initiative. He envisioned the best future flight line vehicles to be electric, and the US Air Force needs to start preparing for that future. AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Branch Future Force Energy and Power Office took the lead in organizing the team, developing the prototype, and getting feedback from the maintainer and operator to to write the technical specifications for the acquisition of the new generation aircraft charger.

“This was a groundbreaking proof of concept that connects a strong history of diesel-based global power projection with new electrification technologies…it revolutionizes the future vision of flight line vehicle capabilities and weapon systems,” said Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Kelleher, USAF vehicle fleet manager with the 441st VSCOS.

“We wanted to put this prototype in the hands of mechanics and riders to get their feedback – they liked it and they were impressed – more than I had anticipated,” said Tim Clear, system manager of Halvorsen weapons at HQ Air Mobility Command “Electric performance was found to be as good or better than diesel performance. While evaluation teams at Dover and Charleston had favorable reviews of the performance of the Halvorsen hybrid, the USAF is working on technical details which are still being evaluated.

“Battery capacity, charging times and retrofit strategy are still concerns we need to work on,” Clear explained. “But after seeing the results of this project, a more electric aircraft charger could be in our future.”

Prototype projects like the Halvorsen Hybrid are key to driving change and transformation for future projects.

“The development of the Halvorsen hybrid loader prototype and the successful operational evaluations have been invaluable,” said Rob Woodruff, Senior Program Office Engineer at Robins AFB. “The electric drive produces much less noise during driving, loading and lifting operations, and enables a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels. We will use this learning to modernize our fleet of vehicles. »

Tom Layne, AFRL project manager, said programs like this encourage leaders to envision the future force.

“Projects like this allow our business leaders at all levels to come together, challenge, make decisions and critically assess successes and failures…mechanics are just as essential than the engineers in these projects,” Layne said. “These leaders go back to their organizations, interact with their colleagues… The intellectual power multiplies as well as the acceptance of new technologies.

“One of the most critical decisions we made together was to incorporate the SAE J1772 interface standard for commonality and interoperability of vehicle battery charging and equipment on the flight line” Layne added “We believe this will have a very significant impact on our national defense and aviation infrastructure and industry.

For more information on the Halvorsen Hybrid Project, email [email protected] or call 937-674-5046.

About the AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the principal scientific research and development center of the Department of the Air Force. The AFRL plays a critical role in the discovery, development and integration of affordable combat technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force.

With a staff of over 11,500 people in nine technology areas and 40 other operations around the world, AFRL offers a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from basic research to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit www.afresearchlab.com.

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