World's first aircraft with serial hybrid electric drive

Jun 24, 2011
Electromobility is now making inroads into the world of aircraft. The technology of the series hybrid electric drive is scalable and will be used in small and medium-sized aircraft and, in the medium term, larger planes. It will make aviation greener.

Together with partners, Siemens has built the world’s first aircraft with a serial hybrid electric drive system. The two-seater motor glider DA36 E-Star is presented by Siemens, Diamond Aircraft and EADS at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget 2011 (until June 26th) in daily flight shows. The aircraft was built to test the hybrid electric drive concept. In the future, the technology, which is intended for later use also in large-scale aircraft, will cut fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent, compared to today's most efficient aircraft drives.

The motor glider, which is based on Diamond Aircraft's HK36 Super Dimona, is the only aircraft of its kind in the world. It is the first to use a so-called serial hybrid electric drive, which has been utilized to date only in cars, as an integrated drive train. The plane's propeller is powered by a 70 kW electric motor from Siemens. Electricity is supplied by a small Wankel engine from Austro Engine with a generator that functions solely as a power source. A Siemens converter supplies the electric motor with power from the battery and the generator. Fuel consumption is very low since the combustion engine always runs with a constant low output of 30kW. A battery system from EADS provides the increased power required during takeoff and climb. The accumulator is recharged during the cruising phase. The plane is able to start noiseless with the electric drive. It can fly over long distances. During test flights it was airborne for about two hours.

The next development step will be to further optimize the entire drive train. Siemens scientists of the global research department Corporate Technology are currently working on a new electric motor that is expected to be five times lighter than conventional drives. In two years, another aircraft is expected to be equipped with an ultra-light electric drive. Siemens' Drive Technologies Division has already used integrated drive trains in other applications like marine drives. The knowhow gained in these areas has now been applied in the aviation industry as well. Combined with the corresponding product portfolio, the components of the drive train can be optimally adjusted to one another.

Air traffic accounts for some 2.2 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide. For this reason, aircraft, too, must become more efficient. In the long term, however, the drive system will also be used in large-scale .

Explore further: First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hybrid Bus in the City: A Prototype with a Future

Aug 20, 2007

Nuremberg’s public transport system has become more "electrified" thanks to a diesel-electric hybrid bus developed by MAN. The vehicle is equipped with drive-system technology from Siemens.

Electric aircraft take to the air

Jun 11, 2009

On the 1st of March 2009, a pair of electric aircraft had simultaneous maiden flights at Sywell Aerodrome near Northampton. These are the first electric aircraft to fly in the UK under the recently introduced ...

Fast electric car with double the motor power

Apr 11, 2011

In cooperation with RUF Automobile, Siemens researchers have turned a Porsche 911 into a high-performance electric car. What’s special about this automobile is that it can also feed energy back into the ...

Recommended for you

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

6 hours ago

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

14 hours ago

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

14 hours ago

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

First series production vehicle with software control

15 hours ago

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central electronics and software architecture RACE. This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces ...

Amputee puts limb system through its paces

17 hours ago

"Amputee Makes History with APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb" is the headline from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where a team working on prosthetics observed a milestone when a double amputee showed ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.