ETH Zurich Shows An Electric Sling At Aero 2023


Electric airplanes continue to make progress of sorts, but no one would say great strides. Much of this work is happening at technical universities including ETH in Zurich. At Aero this year, ETH showed a Sling aircraft converted to electric propulsion. It will also serve as a test bed for experimental hydrogen powerplants. ETH’s Mischa Buob explains what the school is up to.


  1. Embrt-Riddle tried out Boeing’s hydrogen motor glider / all electric. How did that turn out? All batteries, all hydrogen or all fuel cell will never work well for aircraft. An onboard generating system that weighs 30 pounds is the only solution (and on the way).

  2. Mazda developed a sweet tiny Wankel designed to operate very efficiently at a prescribed RPM for use as a range extender on a battery car they are marketing.

  3. Every alternative powerplant catches the attention and is touted as the answer, while the only powerplant that actually works in aircraft when range and payload is considered is the internal combustion engine. Can you imagine how much batteries would weigh for powering an A380 or 747 for 8,000 miles? It’s true that battery development will continue to produce batteries that are more efficient, but let’s not condemn ICE engines that actually work in aircraft applications. It’s going to be a long time before a feasible powerplant comes along that will do what an ICE engine has done for over a century.