EADS and Siemens enter long-term research partnership for electric aviation propulsion; MoU with Diamond Aircraft
EADS and Siemens are entering a long-term research partnership to introduce new electric propulsion systems for aviation applications. Together with their partner, Austria-based Diamond Aircraft, the companies are showcasing a second-generation series hybrid electric airplane at Le Bourget. (Earlier post.)
EADS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders, Siemens CEO Peter Löscher and Diamond Aircraft owner Christian Dries signed a MoU in Le Bourget to set the course for their future cooperation on electric aircraft development.
Total fuel costs will amount to a third of operating expenses of the airline industry this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Air transport as a whole currently emits 2% of global carbon emissions and is set to increase to 3% by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The research partnership aims to ultimately introduce hybrid drive systems for both helicopters and large airplanes, while the airworthiness certification of full-electric and hybrid aircraft in the General Aviation category is to be achieved within the next three to five years.
Siemens developed an integrated drive train for the second generation of the airplane DA36 E-Star 2. It consists of two main components: The electric drive and a generator, which is powered by a small Wankel engine. The hybrid motor glider made a successful 1-hour maiden flight at the Wiener Neustadt airfield in Vienna, Austria on 1 June 2013.
The new propulsion technology leads to reduced noise emissions during take-off and will cut fuel consumption and overall emissions by about 25% compared to today’s most efficient aircraft drivers. This first MoU between the three companies confirms the collaboration on the project which has existed since 2011.