Siemens Demonstrates Electric Motor For Aircrafts – 260 kW, Weighing 50 kg

AUG 24 2016 BY MARK KANE 37

Siemens recently achieved a huge milestone in the power density of electric motors for use in aircrafts – over 5 kW per kg.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

The manufacturing company recently demonstrated an Extra 330LE aerobatic airplane, equipped with its electric motor rated at 260 kW continuous output, weighing just 50 kg.

Electric motors can of course be overloaded, so we believe that peak power at take-off could be much higher.

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

This record-setting propulsion system successfully completed its first public flight today 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 24th 2016. This advance means that hybrid-electric aircraft with four or more seats will now be possible.”

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

“The Extra 330LE, which weighs nearly 1,000 kilograms, serves as a flying test bed for the new propulsion system. As an aerobatic airplane, it’s particularly well suited for taking the components to their limits, testing them and enhancing their design.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

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.”

“Germany’s Aeronautics Research Program (LuFo) supported development of this motor. The Extra 330LE was created in cooperation with Siemens, Extra Aircraft, MT-Propeller and Pipistrel (battery).”

Frank Anton, head of eAircraft at Siemens’ central research unit Corporate Technology said:

“This day will change aviation. This is the first time that an electric aircraft in the quarter-megawatt performance class has flown.”

“By 2030, we expect to see initial aircraft with up to 100 passengers and a range of around 1,000 kilometers,”

Siemens Chief Technology Officer Siegfried Russwurm added:

“The first flight of our propulsion system is a milestone on the road to electrification of aviation. To continue this journey successfully, we need disruptive ideas and the courage to take risks. That’s why the development of electric propulsion systems for aircraft is also the first project for our new start-up organization, next47.”

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

For the first time ever, a plane in the certification category CS23 flies with Permit-to-Fly purely electric. The plane is powered by a 260 kilowatt Siemens motor that weighs a mere 50 kilogramm – a record-setting power-to-weight ratio.

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37 Comments on "Siemens Demonstrates Electric Motor For Aircrafts – 260 kW, Weighing 50 kg"

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Alaa

Let us hope that there will be a place called Germany by 2020 let alone 2030.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37155060

Micke Larsson

Haha… must have been the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in ages 😛

Don’t forget zombie protection and a tin foil hat 🙂

Alaa

They are doing the same in Sweden.

Robert Weekley

One motor in this, 2 Motors in light -Medium Prop Twins, in the typical Twin Piston Engine Class. Making Siamese Twins of this, for a target of 520 kW, or 700 Hp, two of those could replace light Turbine Twins poweplants.

Batteries are getting better, and as many automakers have shown, just updating the battery can boost capacity in kW, by 20% to as much as 50% and even 70% in some cases (60 kW to 100 kW, in Tesla’s case!).

In some point in the not so distant future, Electric Aircraft will have run times from 1-2 Hours. Within 5-8 years from then, they will be showing 3 and 4 hour run times! I estimate that could be by 2024-2028 tops!

Doggydogworld

That’s absurd. Tesla did not “update the battery” from 60 kWh to 100. They updated from 85 kWh to 90. To get from 90 to 100 they added cells and (possibly) updated as well. Best case they’ve improved 12-13% in 4 years.

Boukman

Electric motor power to weight ratio will improve until it approaches that of turbines. The batteries are the only thing holding back electric aircraft.

Alaa

400 wh/kg is already used.

Filipe

this motor + graphene litium bateries
will do the work

SparkEV

Any reason why this is for aircraft, and not for cars? It seems light and powerful is very good fit for cars as well, especially if they can put one for front and one for rear for total of 500 kW (they may not add directly) and only weigh 100 kg (220 lb)

Brian

Funny, you yourself just pointed out in another article the fact that weight matters much less in cars with regen than those without. And even without regen, weight matters much less in cars than in aircraft.

My guess is cost. A lightweight motor is great, but for cars what matter more are cost and size. It looks compact enough, so I would guess it’s about cost.

SparkEV

Weight matters little in terms of energy efficiency when strong regen is used instead of friction brakes. But for performance, weight does matter.

What about it that would cost more? I don’t think they’re achieving this with exotic materials (or are they?) Copper still rules, so extra cost associated with it would be in engineering, which could be lowered with mass manufacturing.

Brian

Dunno. I have no insider information on their technology. And it doesn’t have to just be materials – it could be in manufacturing. Or maybe it costs the same and there’s some other limitation. I’m thinking out loud, just like you.

bogdan

There are lots of exotic materials for electric motor like cobalt iron lamination which are 6 times more expensive then standard silicon steel ones.

There are also some pretty expensive magnets which u can use in an electric motor.

Im pretty sure they use only exotic materials to achieve this performance.

It’s not like this airplane has to be profitable, it’s just to show off!

TomArt

Although electric motors are not new, there are a number of ways of optimizing the magnetic fields with the geometry of the motor, the geometry and winding pattern of the wires, etc. It’s pretty remarkable just how much room there still is for optimization before you get into advanced materials.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Definitely this motor will cost more than a typical EV passenger car motor. We don’t need to know the details to know that. You don’t achieve a high power/weight ratio ratio cheaply.

There’s also a question of cooling. Airplanes can easily blow a large volume of air rapidly past the motor for cooling. With such a compact motor, it may produce too much heat in relation to its surface area for practical use in a car.

John

Tesla is already competing with million dollar supercars in regards to acceleration, with two motors the size of melons. What more do you want?

???

Yes, and those motors have magnets heavier than stones …

Brian

Very small rocks?

mhpr262

BS – the Tesla motors are AC motors, they don’t have any magnets in them, just copper windings.

Someone out there

No they are induction motors. No magnets needed.

jamcl3

Tesla’s motors use induction, not magnets.

Pushmi-Pullyu

John said:

“Tesla is already competing with million dollar supercars in regards to acceleration, with two motors the size of melons. What more do you want?”

Right. This would do nothing for Tesla except make their cars more expensive.

Not all EVs are passenger cars and light trucks, and not all new EV tech is directly relevant to those. I for one am glad to see the occasional article here about other types of EVs.

Viggo Stenbekk

This engine is made i cooperation with Airbus Industries. It’s an outrunner engine, but would fit a car also I guess.

Atle

This is of course **** since it’s not made by Tesla.

terminaltrip421

how very relevant.

zzzzzzzzzz

Electric motors isn’t exactly the bottleneck in electric planes.

Tom

Am I missing something? What is the installed battery capacity? I know this is a proof of concept aircraft…

Pushmi-Pullyu

Congratulations to Siemens on an impressive achievement in making low weight electric motors.

But as I think we all know, the biggest barrier to practical long-range EV airplanes is the weight and size of the batteries. Thankfully that continues to come down year-on-year, but only slowly. We’re still some distance away from seeing practical EV airplanes, even small prop-driven “general aviation” planes.

And we’ll never replace jet airplanes with prop-driven airplanes for long-distance flight. Prop-driven airplanes are too slow to compete with jets for long flights.

Now, that’s not to say we’ll never see the jet engine replaced with electric propulsion. MHD (MagnetoHydroDynamic) propulsion is theoretically possible, but at present it’s in the realm of science fiction.

Priusmaniac
MHD would be really hard indeed but there are two other relatively feasible solutions. To replace jet engines it is possible to use electrofans. That is like a jet engine where the core reactor part is replaced by a motor to drive the main by-pass fan directly. The power loss from the core reactor absence is compensated by a size up in fan diameter. Such an electrofan would be able to achieve speeds similar to conventional jets. For supersonic jets replacements the conventional compressor would be replaced by an electrocompressor and the kerosene burn and turbine would be replaced by an arcjet supplied by the electrocompressor air. The electrofan on short routes will be within reach of 400 wh/Kg batteries but the electrocompressor arcjet supersonic system would need at least 2000 Wh/Kg batteries. Other possibilities are hybrids, where electric system improve characteristics or capabilities. The interesting thing is that electric boost gives almost no limits to the exhaust temperature, this kind of solve the scramjet inlet shockwave and temperature problem because the front opening can be kept small enough to avoid those problems, while the super high exhaust temperature can compensate for low exhaust mass by giving very high exhaust… Read more »
Paul Smith

Motor plus batteries are smaller than an equivalent petrol engine, gas tank and all associated parts. This means the plane can be made smaller, saving more weight. There is an electric race plane that is competitive with the pertol fueled Red Bull plane.

Martin Winlow

Isn’t the motor that Tesla uses in the Model S around 50kg…? …and we all know that it can do a lot more than 260kW… Heck! It does that in *regen* on my S!

And, Mr Kane – there is no ‘s’ in ‘aircraft’ (singular or plural).

Doggydogworld

This motor is 260 kW continuous. Tesla motor peak power is limited to short bursts.

It’s designed for the Airbus E-Fan 2.0, a two seat trainer. It flies a 45 minute lesson, lands, gets a quick battery swap and is ready for the next lesson. It keeps operating costs low for the flight school and noise levels low for the local neighborhood.

Airbus also plans a 4 seat version with a small ICE for longer flights. They’re also playing with the idea of a fuel cell sustainer engine.

wavelet

I don’t get why the motor’s weight is such a big deal…
Sure, the overall plane weight is, but at 50kg, that’s just ~4% of the weight of plane+2 passengers. The battery weight and Wh/kg numbers would seem to be much more significant, and a much larger % of the overall, and there’s no word about that…

Until the Wh/kg are (and corresponding $/Wh) are much better, pure-electric planes will only be suitable for short flights, e.g., trainers which typically do 1-1.5 hour lessons.

Djoni

It’s a big deal because we haven’t solve the battery weight burden right now and won’t solve it any time soon.
So every weight save leave room for that much equivalent weight in battery.
In this plane the 260 kW electric motor being lighter by 100 to 150 kg of an ICE equivalent, make possible to add this weight with battery, keeping the overall weight an balance of the plane safe.
There is also other advantage of having a compact power train, because of available space in such a small frame an it leave room for other important structure to be optimize.
Until we can double the energy per weight of the battery, we have to go around the problem.

Jerold Schwemmer

One of the main implications of this work, according to the press release, is that hybrid-electric aircraft possessing 4 or more seats will now be a possibility within the near future. Siemens and Airbus will reportedly be using the motor for the development of regional aircraft. By 2030, we expect to see initial aircraft with up to 100 passengers and a range of around 1,000 kilometers, continued Anton.

TomArt

Cool!

So, where is the electricity coming from? Absolutely nothing in the article on that…are there batteries? Fuel cell? What?

teo

http://www.enstroj.si/News/emrax-348-prototype.html

40 kg…. Motor efficiency [%] 94-98%