Being of the old school as a pilot, the idea of an electric aircraft motor capable of powering a 4-place general aviation aircraft and eventually an electric aircraft motor powerful enough to power a 60-100 seat aircraft is mind blowing. Much to my surprise Siemens is, in fact, developing just such a world record electric motor for aircraft!
World Record Electric Aircraft MotorThis revolutionary electric aircraft motor spins at just 2,500 revolutions per minute eliminating the need for a gear box to drive the propellor. It can drive the propellor directly without the use of a transmission and has a record setting power-to-weight ratio allowing aircraft with takeoff weights of up to 4,000 pounds. The new motor is 5 times more powerful than comparable motors making electrically powered aircraft a real possibility.
New Electric Aircraft Motor From SiemensWhat follows is an article in AvWeb by Mary Grady published April 28th 2015:
A new electric motor developed by Seimens, a German company, will make it possible to build four-seat hybrid-electric aircraft, the company said recently. The motor's capabilities also suggest "that the use of hybrid-electric drives in regional airliners with 50 to 100 passengers is a real medium-term possibility," said Frank Anton, head of the company's e-aircraft research unit. The motor weighs about 110 pounds, the company says, and can produce a continuous output of about 260 kilowatts (equivalent to about 348 hp). It can drive propellers directly, without the use of a transmission. The motor will be flight-tested later this year, the company said, and the team will continue working to boost output. Seimens worked with Diamond Aircraft two years ago to successfully flight-test a 60-kW hybrid-electric drive in a DA36 motorglider. The new engine uses a new cooling concept that reduces weight, the company said. The company is working with Airbus to develop the technology, and says if the engineers are successful in their ongoing experiments, "the first 60- to 100-seater aircraft with a hybrid electric drive could be taxiing for takeoff as early as 2035." Anton is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium coming up this weekend in Santa Rosa, California.