First Flight For Siemens Electric Motor


Siemens completed the first public flight of its hybrid-electric motor, which is installed in an Extra 330LE aerobatic airplane, last week, from an airfield near Dinslaken, Germany. “The first flight of our propulsion system is a milestone on the road to electrification of aviation,” said Siegfried Russwurm, chief technology officer for Siemens. “To continue this journey successfully, we need disruptive ideas and the courage to take risks.” Siemens says the success of this design means “hybrid-electric aircraft with four or more seats will now be possible.” The motor also will be the starting point of the development, with Airbus, of a hybrid-electric regional airliner that can carry up to 100 passengers, by 2030, the company said. Aerobatic champion Walter Extra was the pilot for the July 4 flight.

The hybrid-electric Extra 330LE was created in a cooperative effort by Siemens, Extra Aircraft, MT-Propeller and Pipistrel. Germany’s Aeronautics Research Program supported development of the motor. AVweb saw the Extra on display at Aero in Friedrichshafen in April; click here for the video report. Also, a longer video of the first flight was posted online today. Prior to last week’s public flight, the airplane had flown for the first time on June 24.