An EU-funded project introduced a truly transformative business model aimed at converting current gasoline-powered light aircraft into hybrid propulsion aircraft. This is a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for small airplanes.
The average light aircraft in use are more than 30 years old. The aviation industry has been slow to electrify aircraft engines despite the technology being readily available on the market. This is because lack of requisite expertise in hybrid technology could increase maintenance costs, environmental contamination and safety risks.
Hybrid electric and fully electric vehicles have become more popular over the last few years. Several solutions have been proposed on the market regarding fully electric engines in new aircraft. Instead of catering to only new airplanes, the HYBPRO project proposed retrofitting existing planes with hybrid propulsion engines as a full service to the owner.
Since the Wright brothers patented the airplane just 110 years ago, the planes have operated with a single engine, until two Spanish engineers had the idea of placing a second engine which in case of failure will be activated, in an invention that has already crossed the pond after its sales in Brazil.
It all came about when Miguel Suarez, an aeronautical engineer with a private pilot’s license, proposed to fly around to a work colleague, Daniel Cristóbal, an electronic engineer from Madrid, worried that the device would flew with only one engine in case of failure in flight.
In case of breakdown, “there is a procedure whereby the pilot has to land as he can,” Suarez replied, as he explained in an interview with EFE, in a response that did not satisfy Cristóbal at all.
From there, they turned the issue around until they decided to set up the Axter Aerospace company in 2011, from where they have developed a hybrid propulsion system for light aircraft similar to electric vehicles.
Axter Aerospace newly stirs up interest among the best magazines of the area. We are news in
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Additional performance at takeoff and fully electric operation in case of shutdown of the internal propulsion engine. That’s what AXTER Aerospace promises with the hybrid AX-40S engine.
What is the use of a hybrid engine in aeronautics? Reduce emissions of fine particles and carbon dioxide are relevant dimensions.
For the Spanish startup AXTER Aerospace, the increase in safety that an additional electric motor can offer was the decisive argument to develop a hybrid engine for the aeronautical sector. With the first model realized of the AX-40S with an electric motor of 30 kilowatts (40 horses) for the engines Rotax 912 and 914, it was possible to fly during 7 minutes being propelled only by the electric motor fed with batteries of lithium. This first test was carried out with the Light Aircraft Tecnam P92J. In a version already made for customers with the Technam P2004 with variable pitch propellers, it provide 12 minutes to the pilot for landing in case of conventional engine failure.
The Ukrainian aviation magazine Aviajournal describes the exhibition of Axter Aerospace at the AERO Fair 2016, held in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The event shows the developments in the international general aviation industry, many companies will show their latest products and innovations, covering the entire industry, from ultralights and gliders to executive jets, helicopters and electric planes, as well as avionics and maintenance.
More than 600 exhibitors from 35 countries, 33,000 visitors and 600 journalists from all over the world, meet annually at AERO Friedrichshafen, being a meeting place for the international community of the sector.
During the month of December 2015, the first AXTER unit with electric variable pitch was delivered.
This new version of AXTER includes improvements in its performance and new battery of greater duration. With these improvements, the AXTER system mounted on a Tecnam P2004, is able to maintain the flight for 12 minutes at 150 km / h.
Axter Aerospace with its innovation project in the field of aviation, creating the first hybrid propulsion system for light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. They have managed to sneak into the list of “The 50 startups with more future” published by the Emprendedores magazine.
Axter Aerospace participated in the fourth edition of The South Summit 2015 held in the Community of Madrid, in the category of Industrial Revolution, being among the 4 finalists thanks to its hybrid propulsion system for light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, which guarantees a safe landing in case of failure of the main engine, giving the pilot 20 extra minutes to make a safe descent. It also reduces the costs of maintenance, operations and fuselage, as well as decreases the emission of pollutants into the environment.
Axter Aerospace has developed the first hybrid aviation system whose mission is to provide 40 hp of extra power to a combustion engine.
The Axter system is a complement to the main combustion engine, consisting of an electric motor for light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, powered by rechargeable lithium batteries in flight and the corresponding motor controller that provides an extra power of 40 hp in case of failure of the main motor, to allow a safe descent. The innovative technology used reduces the costs of maintenance, operations and aircraft fuselage, as well as the emission of pollutants to the environment.