Siemens brought its prototype electric aircraft to the U.S. this week for the first time, showcasing the airplane at the company’s Innovation Day in Chicago. “Electric propulsion is one of the transformative technologies that will help the industry meet the goals of reduced fuel, emissions and noise,” said Teri Hamlin, vice president of electric propulsion for Siemens. “By accomplishing testing on our systems on select flying testbeds in the lower power classes, we are gaining valuable experience and knowledge that accelerates and validates our other developments in hybrid-electric propulsion systems in the high power classes.” Further testing of the technology will take place in Waco, Texas, at the Texas State Technical College Airfield.
The Texas facility will become home to the eFusion aircraft, a flying test bed featuring the Siemens 55-kw electric propulsion unit, the company said. The Texas facility also will be key in data collection on new electric propulsion systems, enabling safety standards and certification efforts for the aerospace market. Siemens also is working with Airbus on the “City Airbus” demonstrator, a VTOL designed for urban mobility. That aircraft will fly for the first time later this year, Siemens said. The company also said recently it will collaborate with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to further develop innovations in the field of hybrid electric propulsion.