An electric-drive Extra 330LE aerobatics plane has set a world record in ascent in the category of “Electric aircraft weighing up to 1,000 kilograms.” Pilot Walter Extra climbed at 11.5 meters per second, reaching an altitude of 3,000 meters in four minutes and 22 seconds, to beat the previous record by one minute and 10 seconds.
The Extra 330LE, built by Extra Aircraft, serves as a test vehicle for the Siemens SP260D drive system, which has a continuous power output of 260 kW, and continuous torque of 1,000 N·m. The system weighs only 50 kg, and thus offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio.
“This is a milestone on the path to electrification in aviation,” said Frank Anton, who heads eAircraft within Siemens’ next4 startup unit. “This enormous achievement was possible only with digital technologies that enabled us to push our drivetrain to its technological limits.”
Siemens will bring this technology to its electric flight collaboration with Airbus. The two companies hope to prove the technical feasibility of hybrid electric drive systems for regional aircraft by 2020. This will require power ratings of up to 10 megawatts. “We expect to see the first aircraft with up to 100 passengers and a range of approximately 1,000 kilometers by 2030,” said Anton.
SEE ALSO: Airbus and Siemens collaborate on hybrid electric propulsion systems for aircraft
Source: Siemens via Green Car Congress