“This is a milestone on the path to electrification in aviation,” said Frank Anton, who heads eAircraft within Siemens’ next47 startup unit. “This enormous achievement was possible only with digital technologies that enabled us to push our drive train to its technological limits.” The Extra 330LE, which weights approximately 1,000 kilograms, serves as a test vehicle for the new drive. For Siemens AG eAircraft, this record is impressive proof of the outstanding performance of the SP260D drive system and its efficient integration into the airplane built by Extra Aircraft OEM.
Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft
The Extra 330LE two-seater will be the ideal test aircraft for the coming years, when the goal will be to analyze and further develop how the individual components of its propulsion system work together. Siemens will also bring the technology to its electric flight collaboration agreement with Airbus, which the two companies signed in April 2016. They want to prove the technical feasibility of hybrid electric drive systems for regional aircraft with up to 100 passengers by 2020. This will require power ratings of up to 10 megawatts. The two partners plan to develop hybrid electric regional aircraft on the basis of the record-breaking motor. “We expect to see the first aircraft with up to 100 passengers and a range of approximately 1,000 kilometers by 2030,” said Anton.
(Comment: both Seimen’s and Airbus are active in the LENR technology development space and have their focus clearly on getting ready for commercial LENR reactors for use in aviation.)