The German space agency DLR has presented the final design of an electric aircraft of regional scope that It uses 10 propeller motors in its wings and it will be available with a capacity for 100 people. Together with Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Bauhaus Luftfahrt eV, the agency has investigated how to develop a general system of a short-haul hybrid-electric aircraft.
DLR’s goal with this aircraft is to develop more environmentally friendly technologies in air transport and, therefore, efforts are focused on new aircraft configurations that can operate commercially reducing emissions and noise pollution.
What is the goal of the design of this aircraft?
For this, the design of this aircraft is based on propulsion units distributed in wings. “With this technology, the propulsion system is distributed over the entire span of the wings, which leads to a more efficient air flow around the aircraft, “they explain in an official statement.
And what would be the advantages? “In conventional regional aircraft, the wings are often oversized to achieve good performance during takeoff and landing,” details Martin Hepperle of the DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology. These aircraft have an “excessively high energy consumption during cruise flight”.
Thus, simulations show that electric propulsion systems allow thrust to be distributed among multiple smaller propellers. “When the airflow from these passes over the wing, it provides greater lift and more efficient aerodynamics. “
The creators of the aircraft selected and evaluated a concept with turbogenerators in the fuselage and 10 electric motors along the edge of the wing as the best solution among the various possible configurations. “The special arrangement of the propellers allows us to compensate for the weight disadvantages of the hybrid-electric powertrain,” adds Hepperle.
On the other hand, the experts were able to design a vertical stabilizer to make it smaller, lighter and with less resistance. “This concept can even compensate for the failure of two electric motors, therefore it also offers greater operational reliability,” he says.