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LaunchPoint commercializes motor controller for advanced air mobility

LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions, an aerospace power generation and propulsion development company with a focus on the advanced air mobility market, has announced the commercialization of its highest power controller to date — the 250-kilowatt MC250.

LaunchPoint controller
LaunchPoint has announced the commercialization of its highest power controller to date — the 250-kilowatt MC250. The California-based company is targeting the advanced air mobility market. LaunchPoint Image

The California-based company said the MC250 is ideal to use as a power converter for high-speed motors or alternators. Weighing nine kilograms (20 pounds), it is ultra-lightweight and compact, measuring 381 by 281 by 152 millimeters (15 by 11 by 6 inches). According to Launchpoint representative Jennifer Goddard Combs, the MC250 controller has been specifically designed for aircraft, while most other off-the-shelf controllers available were designed for ground vehicles or industrial applications.

“The end result is higher performance, better reliability, and lower weight for your aircraft,” she said. “The MC250 provides an excellent power/weight ratio.”

In a press release, LaunchPoint chief technology officer Mike Ricci explained that most of the company’s technologies to date have been tailored toward the smaller drone market at a power level less than 100 kW.

“The 250-kW controller now gets us in the higher power range where we can start moving people and significant cargo for defense and advanced air mobility applications,” he said. “With this kind of power, you can move significant physical objects large distances, and that capability has a massive impact.”

A high speed/high power alternator is currently in development to pair with the MC250 as a full turbo-alternator power generation solution.

LaunchPoint said it has been working with a large customer on the 250-kW controller program, but is not yet able to share the identity of that customer. According to Goddard Combs, LaunchPoint is “looking at larger contracts in spring 2022, which will move us further down the path with them toward becoming a volume supplier.”

Goddard Combs said the company is committed to the urban air mobility market and is developing the data packages needed to “establish an equivalent level of safety to existing airworthiness standards for use in eventual FAA [Federal Aviation Authority] certification under proposed special conditions.”

Earlier this year, LaunchPoint released a new modeling tool to help eVTOL developers fast-track the design of aircraft propulsion systems.

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