Hold the jokes about the extra-long extension cords: German engineering giant Siemens has demonstrated a breakthrough electric motor that throws enough power from its 50-kilogram body to put a 1,000-kilogram production aerobatic plane through its paces.
The CS23-certified single-seater test aircraft has apparently made at least two flights equipped with a new electric rotary motor that produced a continuous power output “five times greater than competitors’ drive systems,” reports the company, which is also deeply involved in wind and other clean energy technologies.
- Concise headlines. Original content. Timely news and views from a select group of opinion leaders. Special extras.
- Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
- The Weekender: The climate news you need.
Frank Anton, head of eAircraft at Siemens, boasted that the flights “will change aviation.” Working with Airbus, “by 2030 we expect to see initial [hybrid-electric] aircraft with up to 100 passengers and a range of around 1,000 kilometres,” he said.
Earlier this year, one of the pilots who completed the first circumnavigation of the globe by a solar-powered aircraft, the Solar Impulse 2, predicted that solar-powered planes would be making commercial flights within a decade.