Tests of the prototype engine are carried out on a reliable light-engine Yak-40 aircraft.
In Novosibirsk, on the basis of FSUE “SibNIA im. SA Chaplygin”, ground tests of the aircraft with the world’s first electric aircraft engine began. This is reported by TASS with reference to the Director General of the Research Center “Institute named after N. Ye. Zhukovsky” by Andrey Dutov.
“Today we are demonstrating the breakthrough that we were able to make thanks to the Federal Fund for Advanced Research, thanks to the government represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, this is the first step towards creating an electric aircraft,” Dutov emphasized.
He noted that such developments are no longer in the world. The creators of the electric motor expect that in two years the next laboratory based on the Tu-114 aircraft will appear, which will be able to fly on electric motors without additional engines.
Dutov also said that during the tests, which also launched the electric engine and all systems of the aircraft, including its standard engines, their stable joint work was checked.
In November 2019, NASA unveiled its first electric aircraft, which it has been working on since 2015. The first flights were announced during the year, however, information about such tests from the developers from NASA has not been received to date.
An electric motor based on high-temperature superconductors is being created in Russia by order of the Advanced Research Foundation.
“Foreign competitors are also developing electric motors for aviation. In 2021-2022, the previous generation electric motor, without superconductors, should be tested in a flying laboratory in Europe. Our electric motor is distinguished by the use of new materials – superconductors. They make it possible to create high-power electric motors in small dimensions and such engines can be created and tested in flight by our competitors in five years. We plan to carry out tests at the flying laboratory next year,” – said the head of SuperOx company Sergei Samoilenkov said in September 2019.
According to him, superconductors have no electrical resistance and allow the transmission of a record high current density. This makes it possible to increase the efficiency of such installations and reduce their weight and size parameters in comparison with conventional electric motors.
“This setup opens up a new page in aviation because it allows the design and construction of electric aircraft. This will allow aviation to implement the same principles as in electric vehicles. It could change the civil aviation market for the coming years and decades. The topic is of great interest to everyone: Airbus, Boeing, NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, all Russian aircraft manufacturers. Everyone is sure that this is the future. Only some people think that it will come tomorrow, someone the day after tomorrow, but we think that it has already come,” – head of the company said.
The source of electricity for such an installation can be batteries, electric generators or fuel cells. Thanks to the compact size of the electric motors and the ability to separate the power source and the installation itself, aircraft designers can design new aircraft, placing the engines where it is most aerodynamically advantageous.
“Our two engines can provide thrust for an aircraft with a capacity of up to 20 passengers. Engines of a larger size or a larger number of engines can propel regional aircraft – 50-70 passengers,” – Samoilenkov said.
According to him, the Russian development can rightfully be called a breakthrough solution, since it opens up new prospects in the field of regional air transportation.
“Until 2035, this market is measured in trillions of US dollars,” – said the head of SuperOx.
At the same time, he notes, the development of an electric motor based on superconductors was much cheaper than a conventional aircraft engine.
“Compared to the development of a traditional aircraft engine, it is at least 10 times less,” he said.