Siemens AG, Diamond Aircraft and EADS are set to present an aircraft with a serial hybrid electric drive system at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget 2011. The two-seater motor glider successfully completed its maiden flight June 8 at the Wiener Neustadt airfield in Vienna, Austria. The aircraft was built by the three partners to test the hybrid electric drive concept. In the future, the technology, which is intended for later use in large-scale aircraft, will cut fuel consumption and emissions by 25%, compared to today’s most efficient aircraft drives, according to company officials.
Air traffic accounts for some 2.2% of CO2 emissions worldwide. One possible solution — which Siemens and its partners Diamond Aircraft and EADS are testing in the DA36 E-Star motor glider — is to electrify the drive system.
The motor glider, which is based on Diamond Aircraft’s HK36 Super Dimona, is the only aircraft of its kind in the world, company officials claim. It is the first to use a so-called serial hybrid electric drive, which has been utilised to date only in cars, as an integrated drive train. The plane’s propeller is powered by a 70kW 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 serial hybrid electric drive concept makes possible a quiet electric takeoff and a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and emission,” said Christian Dries, the owner of Diamond Aircraft. “It also enables aircraft to cover the required long distances.”
The DA36 E-Star will be exhibited at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget in a flight demonstration every day.