First Hybrid Aircraft Unveiled at Paris Air Show
The DA36 E-Star motor glider is the first of its kind in the world. Based on Diamond Aircraft's HK36 Dimona the plane uses a Siemens designed 70kw electric motor to power its propeller and an EADS battery system to provide the extra power needed for take off. Once the aircraft is at cruising altitude the the battery system recharges. According to Siemens the plane's emissions and fuel consumption are greatly decreased as the "combustion engine runs with a constant low output of 30 kw."
Earlier this month the two-seater plane took its first successful flight. Nevertheless, the technology still has a lot more development and testing to undergo.
Siemens has big plans for what its scientists and engineers are learning about about how hybrid drive trains operate in aircraft. The energy giant has set a goal to translate the technology used in this glider into larger aircraft. The company says hybrid drive trains can reduce aircraft fuel consumption and emissions by 25% compared to the industry's most efficient technologies. The company is already fast at work developing a new "ultra-light electric drive" which it expects to be five times lighter than conventional drives.
"On the long way to hybrid electric-powered commercial aircraft, the maiden flight of the DA36 E-Star is a small step and at the same time a historic milestone," said Dr. Jean Botti, Chief Technical Officer and member of the Executive Committee of EADS.
With this latest development, Siemens adds to its Environmental Portfolio. The energy conglomerate is quickly becoming a clean and alternative energy juggernaut. Last week it announced plans to invest US$214.6million to expand its wind power business. And, in 2010, Siemens was the world's largest supplier of eco-friendly technologies generating a revenue of nearly US$40 billion.
Image Credit: Siemens
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