Low Volume Production of Small Electric Passenger Planes

Liaoning General Aviation Academy hopes to sell 100 two passenger electric planes within three years. They plan to build a dedicated manufacturing plant that can make 100 a year in Shenyang. It will sell for $163,000, lithium batteries included.

The two-seater, light-duty aircraft runs on electric motors and can be powered by fuel-cells, solar, ultracapacitors, power beaming or batteries. It can fly for 90 minutes on fully charged batteries, and charging the 10 kilowatt-hour batteries takes only 40 minutes at a cost of $0.80.

Liaoning General Aviation RX1E electric plane

Pipistrel Taurus Electro G2

The Pipistrel Taurus Electro G2 is the only electric 2-seat aeroplane in serial production available on the market. Furthermore, Pipistrel believes it is the only truly useful electric aircraft out there, because the electric drive is applied to the glider airframe, where battery capacity is not a limiting factor in performance/endurance. Taurus Electro G2 represents a leap forward in performance, safety, functionality and user friendliness.

Pipistrel Taurus Electro G2

Taurus Electro G2 can use a shorter runway, climbs faster and is performs much better than the gasoline-powered version when it comes to high altitude operations. All this is possible thanks to the specially-developed emission-free Pipistrel’s 40kW electric power-train.

The tailor-developed Lithium-technology batteries come in two configurations, capable of launching the aeroplane to 1200 m (4000 ft) or 2000 m (6500 ft) respectively. They are placed in self-contained boxes, monitored constantly by the super-precise Pipistrel’s own battery management system (BMS), compete with data-logging and battery health forecasting.

The propulsion motor weighs an impressive 11 kg (rather than 16 kg) and generates 10 kW more power, resulting in a total of 40 kW. Due to this 33% increase in power and 40% decrease in weight we developed a whole new propeller, which has proven to be more efficient than the version flying on the Taurus Electro Prototype.

Taurus Electro G2

Introduced in February 2011 as a two-seat self-launching sailplane, powered by a 40 kW (54 hp) engine and lithium batteries. Powered endurance is 17 minutes, intending to allow for self-launching to an altitude of 2000 m (6500 ft), after which the engine is retracted and the aircraft then soars as a sailplane.

Taurus G4

One-off twin fuselage, four seat version, based on the Taurus Electro and acting as an engine development test bed for their forthcoming Panthera four seat hybrid. It has a 150 kW (201 hp) motor mounted on the central wing section between the fuselages. With two people on board, it was the winner of the Green Flight Challenge held in September 2011, covering 403.5 passenger miles per gallon equivalent and receiving the $1.35 million prize donated by NASA

Performance Taurus G4

Maximum speed: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn) with flaps extended
Stall speed: 63 km/h (39 mph; 34 kn) with flaps
Never exceed speed: 225 km/h (140 mph; 121 kn)
Maximum glide ratio: 41:1
Rate of sink: 0.7 m/s (140 ft/min)

Airbus eFan concept electric plane

The Airbus E-Fan is a prototype two-seater electric aircraft being developed by Airbus Group. It was flight demonstrated to the world press at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK in July 2014. The target market is pilot training.

At the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced that the E-Fan 2.0 will go into production by 2017 with a side-by-side seating layout. Airbus has stated that there are plans for development of a commercial regional aircraft in the near future.

The E-Fan is an all-electric two-seat twin-engined low-wing monoplane of composite structure. It has a T-tail and a retractable tandem landing gear with outrigger wheels. The two engines are mounted on either side of the rear fuselage.

Two production variants are planned, a two-seater E-Fan 2.0 for use as a trainer, and the E-Fan 4.0 four-seater. To increase flight duration the E-Fan 4.0 will have a hybrid-electric system that will have a small engine to charge the battery, which will increase duration from nearly an hour to 3.5 hours.

The E-fan is of all-composite construction and is propelled by two ducted, variable-pitch fans spun by two electric motors totaling 60 kW of power. Ducting increases thrust while reducing noise, and having the fans mounted centrally provides better control. The motors moving the fans are powered by a series of 250-volt lithium-ion polymer batteries made by South Korean company Kokam. The batteries are mounted in the inboard section of the wings. They have enough power for one hour and take one hour to recharge. An onboard backup battery is available to make an emergency landing if power runs out while airborne. The E-fan’s undercarriage consists of two retractable fore and aft wheels, with another two under the wings. Unusually for an aircraft, the wheels are powered by a 6 kW electric motor, which allows the plane to be taxied without the main engines and are able to accelerate it to 60 km/h (37 mph; 32 kn) for takeoffs. Having the takeoff run performed by the undercarriage relieves some of the burden on the flight motors

Airbus planned electric planes

E-Fan – Two-seat concept aircraft
E-Fan 2.0 – Proposed all-electric two-seat production variant.
E-Fan 4.0 – Proposed hybrid-electric four-seat variant.
E-Thrust – Proposed 90-seat regional jet based on the principles of the E-Fan

Flight Global says Airbus is gearing up to commercialise a light aircraft project with a hybrid-electric propulsion system, as a blueprint for an eventual move into the 90-seat regional transport market.

logo

Don’t miss the latest future news

Subscribe and get a FREE Ebook