06.02.2023

An airplane with an electric engine, which has no analogues in the world, was shown in Novosibirsk

In Novosibirsk, they began to test an airplane with an electric motor. Before being installed on the aircraft, the engine passed a set of tests. 

An aircraft with the world’s first superconducting electric aircraft engine was tested in Novosibirsk. On February 5, on the strip of the airfield of the Siberian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation named after S. A. Chaplygin, they showed him a run along the runway.

– Now we are performing one of the preliminary flight tests. The main engine and electric motor will be launched today. After that – taxiing into the lane. Taxiing, jogging, checking the functioning of all aircraft systems as part of a working electric aircraft engine, – said the director of the institute Vladimir Barsuk before rolling out the aircraft.

This is a joint project of SibNIA, the SuperOx company (created to develop a technology for the production of high-temperature superconducting wires of the second generation), the Advanced Research Fund, the PI Baranov Central Institute of Aviation Motors, the N.Ye. Zhukovsky “.

– Actually, this is a historical event. Because today in civil aviation practically all the technologies of traditional aviation have been exhausted and there is a very tough competition for the future of aviation, – said Andrey Dutov, Director General of the N.E. Zhukovsky Research Center. – Today we are demonstrating the breakthrough that we could have made thanks to the Advanced Research Fund, thanks to funding from the government represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. This is the first step towards creating an electric airplane.

When will the first passengers fly

According to him, the world predicts the emergence of such aircraft only in 2030. To date, such an engine, which was shown today in Novosibirsk, is nowhere else.

– And here we are ahead of the rest. And already today both “Airbus” and “Siemens” are contacting us so that we somehow begin to cooperate in this area. This is a significant breakthrough. And, despite the fact that this is an old plane, it is a flying laboratory. Inside, there is a completely different electrical engineering, – emphasized Dutov. – The next flying laboratory based on the Il-114 will be created in 2 years, and this aircraft will already fly on electric motors itself, without auxiliary conventional engines.

How it works

The chairman of the board of directors of ZAO SuperOx, Andrey Vavilov, explained that the generator and the battery are in the circuit in order to increase the power during takeoff. The frequency converter and the motor itself. The generator is powered by a turbine. Efficiency – 99.8; 2.5 thousand revolutions; power – 500 kW.

According to Dutov, these technologies can be used in other types of equipment, where the requirements are not as stringent as in aviation. For example, in shipbuilding, railway transport, motor transport.

What is a flying laboratory?

The project participants focused on the fact that an airplane is precisely a flying laboratory.

“The flying laboratory is not made to fly on electricity. It was made in order to work out the technology of using a large amount of electrical energy on board. To generate and use it, – explained the general director of the FSUE Central Institute of Aviation Motors named after PI Baranov “Mikhail Gordin.

After this launch, experts will explore the parameters, draw conclusions, on the basis of which they will create methodologies for engineers.

Yak-40 on an electric motor

According to SibNIA, the decision to use the Yak-40 aircraft was made in 2018. To equip the Yak-40 with an electric motor, two of the three main engines were replaced with modern ones with high thrust. Modified the airframe design.

– The result of the work, which is planned to be completed in 2022, will be flight tests of a demonstrator of a hybrid power plant, – said the Institute of Aviation.

Andrey Dutov emphasized that the use of hybrid technologies in aviation will reduce fuel consumption by up to 70% and significantly reduce harmful emissions.

Historical event

The plane was on rollout for about 15 minutes. The director of the institute, Vladimir Barsuk, said that the Yak-40 with the world’s first superconducting electric aircraft engine accelerated to about 135-140 kilometers per hour.

– Everything worked fine, normally, – said the director of SibNIA. – The main task of this flying laboratory is to select the most optimal option for converting electrical energy into a traction motor. Therefore, there is a sufficiently strong powerful generator, which must first copy everything, generate it into a battery, and then must implement it through this electric motor with maximum efficiency. This is a serious scientific challenge.

Last year, KB Spectr, together with engineers from NSTU, announced the creation of an electric vehicle based on the concept of the Marussia supercar.

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