How to change the world of small aircraft flying? The growing role of electric and hybrid propulsion.
The family of green planes is growing more and more beautifully Friedrichshafen, a small German town on Lake Constance, has been famous for flying for more than a century because of the seaplanes of the Dornier family and the airship of Count Zeppelin. Therefore, it is no coincidence that every spring, this iconic city becomes the small-scale capital of Europe for a week, where new developments are always in the spotlight at the Aero Friedrichshafen event. Over the past 3-5 years, the topic of electric and hybrid propulsion has gained increasing ground at the prestigious International Army Review.
In 2016, the world premiere of the Hungarian Magnus eFusion two-seater Siemens electric powered small aircraft was still in preparation, but the following year the Hungarian aircraft presented the world’s first such pair flight with the also electric German EXTRA aerobatic aircraft in front of the Zeppelin hangar. Back in 2017, the cover of a Norwegian start-up amphibian hybrid-powered seaplane and this year’s AutoflightX, a demonstration of a single-take-off aircraft made in a Sino-German cooperation, was ceremoniously pulled off.
One of the hand-pulling hands was Tian Yu’s, WHO THANKS THE FOUNDATION COMPANY YUNEEC FOUNDED IS ONE OF THE WORLD FAMOUS PIONEERS IN ELECTRICITY. Three years ago, green planes moved from the “hallway” into Hall A7, and this year they have already appeared in almost all the exhibition halls.
VOLUME OF ELECTRICAL AND HYBRID AVIATION DEVELOPMENT WORLD TREND the new sector has become a favorite investment area for large multi companies and billionaires. Green flying is also significantly encouraged by the results of electric and hybrid propulsion in other transport sectors. Quiet, simple, noiseless, and most importantly, much cheaper. According to experts, the biggest advantage of green flying is quiet and – above all – cheap operation. In many parts of Europe, small aircraft are limited or non-existent in their use of sports aircraft due to the noise of a traditional engine, but with these aircraft they can be flown almost anywhere. Just as low-cost aircraft have discounted prices, so has the relatively cheap operation of electric aircraft
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WILL MAKE SMALL FLIGHT POSSIBLE, EITHER AS A PILOT OR EVEN AS A PASSENGER.
The cheaper cost is made up of several things, such as an electric motor being approximately five times more efficient than a conventional motor and only having to be overhauled after five times as long as a conventional internal combustion engine. It starts to flick, there is no operating temperature reached before takeoff, and power is supplied to the drive by wires. IN ADDITION, SUCH AN AIRCRAFT CONSISTS OF MUCH LESS PARTS, as a self-weight we have to lift a much less useless load into the air and we could even continue to list the benefits. Eventually, electricity will be cheaper than hydrocarbon fuels in the long run, especially if it is derived from solar energy.
There is already an electric passenger carrier for 11 people. In green flight, the designer’s imagination can soar freely, for example in terms of the number of propellers as they integrate with e-engines. Here are some examples. The Austrian aircraft factory Diamond only brought its new green model in a photo. The Diamond DA40 was originally a four-person machine with a conventional drive and propeller placed in front of the cabin. In the hybrid version developed with Siemens, the two electric motors, together with the propellers, were mounted on the side of the cab.
There, of the three push-propeller e-gears, two were unusually mounted on the wingtips, one larger on the rear of the fuselage. And the aforementioned AutoflightX V600 has seven propellers. A LARGER POST-CABIN IN SLIDING MODE, THE AIRCRAFT PLACING FROM THIS SITE IN THIS TRAVEL MODE.
The need for a take-off run has been solved very wisely. The small duck wing in front and the “normal” half-wings were connected by a rod on each side, with the vertical guide plane, i.e. the “tail”, at their ends. Two-point propellers pointing down at both ends of the rod and up in the middle raise and lower the machine, which almost disappears in travel mode and strikes the support bracket. By the way, most of the rotors on a single machine were visible two years ago in Friedrichshafen, on the Volocopter, where the two-person cabin is lifted, lowered and traveled by 18 small rotors placed on a double circular support. However, it was acquired by the development company of the Daimler Group, so they didn’t come this year anymore because they grew out of the framework of the exhibition.
If the battery is low, plug it in with an air-powered power plant
The biggest limitation of electric drive today is the short operating time, which is usually between half and an hour. Due to the requirement for a half-hour mandatory navigation reserve, electric aircraft already flying can usually operate around the airport and only fly a shorter route.
BUT THE POWER OF ELECTRIC PROPERTY IS FANTASTICLY DEVELOPING LIKE MOBILE PHONES, and it’s not just about battery performance. Newer batteries are made up of many thousands of small cells, and these are already much more efficient. One of Siemens’ Hungarian executives said that the power converter inverter and computer control systems can further increase performance, which is why we are talking about an electric drive system.
One way to increase performance is to charge almost every corner of the machine with batteries.THIS WAY WAS CHOOSED BY THE 11 PERSON EVIATION ALICE, where 60 percent of the weight of the machine is made up of batteries, as the cells can already be bent. An even more common solution to increase performance is the installation of a power generator motor. In the nose of the previously mentioned Diamond-Siemens four-person hybrid machine AN ORIGINAL DIESEL GENERATOR MANUFACTURED AND CONVERSED FOR NISSAN CARS MUSES IN THE AIR, thus, the half-hour of the battery drive was increased to 5 hours and the range to 1,000 kilometers.
Last year, we came across a semi-finished new hybrid version of the C42 on the Aero, which is so far the only machine licensed in Germany with an e-engine. THE HYBRID VERSION HAS BEEN INSTALLED WITH A 15 KILOGRAM SPORTS CAR ENGINE IN THE REAR OF THE MACHINE, which will be able to hold the COMCO hybrid Icarus for up to 6-7 hours in the air with electricity produced from 35 liters of fuel.
Hybrids on the horizon
Italian Alpi Aviation struck two birds with one stone. During the flight, the high power demand is only required during the take-off and take-off period, later half of it is enough. THE FOUNDATION MANAGER OF THE ITALIAN FACTORY HAS BUILT MORE THAN A THOUSAND DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT IN TWIN YEARS, INCLUDING THOSE SOLD AS KITS IN A LARGE BOX. He reversed the formula: he added an electric motor with enough battery capacity for 20 minutes to the Rotax engine, which is common in light aircraft flying.
The two motors work on a common shaft, but can be switched separately towards the front propeller. The two components of the hybrid drive together during the critical period of start-up, so their performance adds up. If one of the engines accidentally breaks down during a flight, the EMERGENCY can be AVOIDED by flying with the other, and the axle can be recharged while flying. Thus, 2-3 hours more flight time can be extracted from the hybrid, with increased safety. One of the big guns in the electric drive is Siemens. The main exhibitor of Hall A7, which hosts the e-Flight Expo, was again the German global company Siemens this year. Whereas previously we could see more airplanes here, now the electric motors and propulsion elements dominated the stand.
Dr. Frank Anton, Head of Siemens eAircraft, has said many times in recent years that SIEMENS WILL NEVER MANUFACTURE E-AIRCRAFT, so the sight also better suited the corporate character. Electric propulsion gives all designers a lot of freedom, as e-flight requires more or less resources. At the Siemens stand, five motors of different capacities were exhibited, from 30 Kwh to 260 Kwh, along with inverters and control systems. SMALL AIRCRAFT DEVELOPERS AND CONSTRUCTION FACTORIES MAKE MANUALLY ONLY THEIR AIRCRAFT OF THEIR OWN, TAKEN EVERYTHING EVERYTHING FROM THE SUPPLIERS.
Siemens will also sell the drive systems it has developed. In the case of a cooperation agreement, Siemens will participate in the development together with the manufacturer and, if requested, will add its own hybrid components. Green flying, as a business, is still in its infancy for the time being, which is why cooperation is important. This was reported on screens at the Siemens booth. The Siemens propulsion system operates the unmanned four-seater air taxi taking off from Cityairbus,
WHICH MADE A SUCCESSFUL VIRGIN TAKE OFF A FEW DAYS AFTER THE EXHIBITION.
But the two-seater Sun Flyer, developed jointly with an American company, is already flying, and the four-person and solar-powered versions may also come soon. In Hall B1, the German light aircraft factory, Flight Desing, exhibited a stronger cabin with a more efficient wing, including the principle of modularity, with the F2 family.
THE BUYER CAN CHOOSE FROM MULTIPLE ENGINES, MULTIPLE PROPELLERS, MULTIPLE AVIONICS.
One of the exhibited versions of the two-person aircraft was the F2e, into which Siemens has installed a propulsion system, but they are still working on it, but its first flight is expected soon. Slovenia as one of the pioneers of electric aviation Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel in Slovenia, is one of the biggest figures in green flying in the world. 9 years ago, In 2011, NASA and GOOGLE OFFERED AN UNCINERATIVELY LARGE, ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS FIRST PRIZE FOR ANYONE WHO FLIGHTS NEAR 400 KM IN THE GREEN FLIGHT CHALLENGE.
Under the terms of the race, the distance had to be completed in less than two hours and the machine could not consume more than one gallon, or 3.6 liters of petrol equivalent per person. The air race in America was won by a small factory team with a hitherto unknown Slovenian root, Pipistrel, in front of a lot of cannons considered a chance at the time. Their own two-seater gliders were assembled in the spirit of Burt Rutan’s tourist spaceship aircraft, with electric propulsion and batteries in the middle, making the Taurus G4 four-seater.
THE SAME TANDEM MODEL HAS BECOME ONE OF THE BASE MACHINES OF THE MAHEPA PROJECT.
Its special feature is that the electricity in the air is generated by a hydrogen fuel cell system based on 10 years of development by the German research institute DLR. In the German-made HY4 hybrid aircraft, two hydrogen tanks provide fuel in the tandem fuselage. And in the middle of the common wing, it chemically generates electricity from four fuel cells with water by-products, which drives the electric motor in front of it.
AS AN ADDITIONAL, LITHIUM BATTERIES ALSO PROVIDE POWER ON TAKE-OFF OR take-off, AND CAN BE CHARGED DURING A FLIGHT.
The HY4 is already past virgin flight and will soon be able to cover a range of 800-1500 kilometers at a speed of roughly 150 kilometers per hour. The overarching goal of MAHEPA is to bridge the gap between the research and product phases of low-emission powertrain technology, which was presented very attractively on the other, more traditional line, the internal combustion engine hybrid, with the conversion of the Pipistrel’s four-person Phantera. Last year, the 30-year-old Pipistrel finally kept the tradition, showing the ALPHA ELECTRO, produced alone in series in the world, not at its own stand, but brought it into the A7 hall. Next to it was the Pipistrel filling column, which provides an 80-minute flight with a “refueling” lasting 45 minutes.