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Electric Aircraft


— Aircraft

Retrofittable electric engine adds power and safety to light aircraft

Small, single-engine aircraft are the mainstay of recreational flying, and provide many hours of generally safe enjoyment for hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts worldwide. However, with only one engine on-board, they are also often only a small malfunction away from becoming a heavy, unpowered glider in dire need of somewhere to land. To help improve this situation, researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and AXTER Aerospace have created an auxiliary electric propulsion unit designed to be installed in conventionally-powered light aircraft to both increase available power and provide extra range in the event of an engine failure.

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— Aircraft

Siemens' world-record electric aircraft motor punches above its weight

Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground. Read More
— Aircraft

Could this 18-motor wing be the future of electric aircraft?

It might look like it was designed by a six-year-old, with 18 motors crammed onto a too-thin wing, but the Hybrid-Electric Integrated Systems Testbed (HEIST) experimental wing demonstrator could be the future of electric aircraft. A key component of NASA'S Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, it is designed to test whether electric propulsion can allow for a tighter wing design leading to greater efficiency and safety. Read More
— Aircraft

Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft concept aims to quietly rule the skies

Touted as the world's first true hybrid aircraft, the Faradair BEHA (Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft) is a triple box-wing design concept that combines electric motors and a bio-diesel engine. Fitted with a range of energy conservation and recovery technologies, including solar panels on all flight surfaces and high-lift, low-speed flight capabilities, the BEHA is intended to be one of the world’s most environmentally friendly aircraft. Read More
— Aircraft

E-Fan electric aircraft makes first public flight

Manned electric-powered aircraft have made record-breaking flights and turned more than a few heads in the past few years, and it's not a trend that's likely to slow down. Last week, the E-Fan electric trainer airplane developed by the Airbus Group made its first public flight before a collection of French dignitaries. Currently a demonstrator for electric aircraft technology, Airbus says that is will be used as the basis for building a new pair of electric training aircraft models. Read More
— Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 spreads its wings for the public

What has a wider wingspan than a 747, weighs the same as a car, and can fly almost forever without a drop of fuel? If you were in Payerne, Switzerland on Wednesday, you would have seen the answer as psychiatrist and explorer Bertrand Piccard and engineer and entrepreneur André Borschberg unveiled the Solar Impulse 2. The result of 12 years work, the ultra-light, solar-powered airplane will attempt to fly around the world next year relying exclusively on solar power to keep it aloft for days at a time. Read More
— Aircraft

E-volo’s 18-rotor electric Volocopter makes maiden flight

E-volo recently celebrated the maiden launch of its electric two-passenger, 18-rotor VC200 "Volocopter," touting the vehicle's safety and simplicity after an indoor flight inside the Dm-arena in Karlsruhe, Germany on November 17. While the copter is similar in form to both quadcopters and helicopters, the company resists the helicopter label, pointing out the numerous radically different safety and design choices that set the vehicle apart. Read More
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