Siemens has built the world's first aircraft with a serial hybrid electric drive system, which is on aerial displays at the ongoing Paris Air Show Le Bourget 2011.
The two-seater motor glider DA36 E-Star is the rsult of a collaboration between Germany's Siemens AG, Diamond Aircraft and EADS to test the hybrid electric drive concept.
The motor glider had successfully completed its maiden flight on June 8 at the Wiener Neustadt airfield in Vienna, Austria.
In future, the technology, which is intended for later use also in large-scale aircraft, and the three partners expect it to cut fuel consumption and emissions by 25 per cent, compared to today's most efficient aircraft drives.
With electromobility spreading to aircraft, the technology of the series hybrid electric drive being scalable, it is expected that it would be used in small and medium-sized aircraft and, in the medium term, larger planes and thus make air travel a greener proposition.
Air traffic accounts for some 2.2 per cent of CO2 emissions worldwide. For this reason, aircraft, too, being engineered to become more efficient. One possible solution – which Siemens and its partners Diamond Aircraft and EADS are testing in the DA36 E-Star motor glider – is to electrify the drive system.