Tecnam Goes Electric in Parallel and with Batteries

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Tecnam, an Italian aircraft producer noteworthy for supplying the base aircraft for NASA’s X-57 Maxwell distributed electric test vehicle, has two of its own electric craft under development.  One will be a parallel-hybrid single-engine/motor four-seater with perhaps the smallest motor Rolls-Royce can supply.  The other will employ a battery-only system to power an 11-seat commuter aircraft. Tecnam’s history, starting in 1948, includes the design and manufacture of over 33 types of aircraft, with deliveries of over 5,500 airframes in more than 65 countries. Parallel Power Introduced in 2018, the H3PS (“High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain”) project was a collaboration among Tecnam, BRP-Rotax and (at the time) Siemens, which supplied the electric motor.  Siemens’ electric aircraft division has since …

A Triple-Redundant Powerplant

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Your editor saw this Tweet from Frank Anton, head of Siemens eAircraft: FrankAnton @Frank_E_Anton Oct 9 Hybrid-electric with multiple redundancy: three independent drive units in one engine block. Should a module fail, flight can continue with two remaining components. Scalewings engine exists as concept, development work expected to take three years. This caused your editor to go quickly to the ScaleWings home page, where a beautiful P-51 Mustang in 70-percent scale dazzles.  The airplane is available in Ultralight, Light Sport Aircraft, and Experimental configurations using engines from the UL and Rotax lines up to a Chevrolet LS300, with a supercharged variant offering up to 600 horsepower.  Their brochure, in German or English gives a great overview of the features of this carbon-fiber …

Hybrid Aircraft – Several Empowering Possibilities

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

While we wait (with increasing patience or impatience depending on our personalities) for the next round of battery developments to make pure electric airplanes a reality, hybrid possibilities abound.  The definition of “hybrid” might not be as coherent as those used for automobiles.  Some “hybrids in this entry allow extended letdowns following a primary engine failure.  In that case, the added electric motor/generator gives extra minutes to find a safe landing space.  While both motor and primary engine are operational, the system acts much like an automotive hybrid system, both motor and engine combining outputs for added power, or the electrical portion recharging batteries while the engine maintains cruise power. Some are more like automotive serial systems, an engine-driven generator …

An Electric Motor Lets You Down Easy

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Having your engine fail in the middle of a flight is an unnerving experience, to say the least.  For buyers or owners of small two and four-passenger aircraft, a new installation might help mitigate the disaster. Miguel Ángel Suárez of Axter Aerospace, a Spanish firm dealing in the application of electronics to private flight, highlights the goal of his firm’s recent development.  “We are trying to save lives and prevent accidents related to loss of power during flights, when the engine fails or the fuel runs out.”  In their video, the University of Charles III of Madrid (UC3M) shows the Axter installation starting its electric motor immediately after a simulated power failure of the Rotax engine on the test Tecnam …