Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens will create by 2020 a hybrid electric plane
Three European techno giant announced a joint effort in developing a demonstration version of a commercial aircraft with an electric motor. The working name of the machine is “E-Fan X”, it will be built on the basis of the model BAE Systems 146 and should go up in the air by 2020. The technology is not revolutionary, but fundamental – the engineers want to see how the plane behaves with the hybrid electro-reactive power plant.
The EU’s prospective plan, entitled “Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation”, leaves no choice to either engineers or investors. To reduce for several decades carbon dioxide emissions by 75%, nitrous oxide by 90% and to reduce noise by 65% is impossible without abandoning the ICE and switching to electric motors. Everywhere, including aviation – but for large, commercial aircraft this is not yet possible.
The purpose of the consortium Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens is to test the concept of hybrid transport. At first, in E-Fan X, only one of the four gondolas will have a 2-megawatt electromagnet from Siemens. It will be powered by a generator based on the Rolls-Royce gas turbine engine, and Airbus was assigned the integration of all this into the design of the aircraft. And also the adjustment of control systems.
Engineers do not hide that the experience of small aircraft with electric motors is unlikely to greatly help. In fact, we are talking about one big experiment – how will an electric motor of this power behave on a large aircraft, as far as it is convenient, reliable and profitable. Hopes are assigned to intellectual management systems, while the management of companies do not hide that they would like to create a basis, lay new standards. Which will help them to occupy this market in the future.