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World-record electric motor for aircraft completes flight

12 July 2016

Siemens new type of electric motor successfully completed its first public flight where it powered an Extra 330LE aerobatic airplane.

Maiden-flight with a record setting motor (Credit: Siemens)

Siemens researchers have developed a new type of electric motor that, with a weight of just 50kg, delivers a continuous output of about 260kW – five times more than comparable drive systems. 

This record-setting propulsion system successfully completed its first public flight at Schwarze Heide Airport near Dinslaken, Germany, where it – almost silently – powered an Extra 330LE aerobatic airplane. The new drive system had already made its maiden flight on June 24 2016. This advance means that hybrid-electric aircraft with four or more seats will now be possible. 

In addition, the company will be contributing this technology to the cooperative project that Siemens and Airbus agreed to in April 2016 for driving the development of electrically powered flight. Electric drives are scalable, and Siemens and Airbus will be using the record-setting motor as a basis for developing regional airliners powered by hybrid-electric propulsion systems. Siemens is determined to establish hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft as a future area of business.

Video courtesy of Siemens.

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