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Electric power and the EMG-6

Electric power and the EMG-6

The EMG-6 aircraft was designed from the onset to be able to leverage the new electric technologies that are being developed. In the very early stages of development we identified the primary difficulty being associated with the pace of development with electric motors, controllers, and batteries. The aircraft was designed with this in mind. The intent of the aircraft was to be able to adapt to the changing technology allowing for the newest of technologies to be bolted to the aircraft as sub-assembly powerplant packages. The airframe has been designed to be able to accept multiple different powerplant options.

Battery quick-change system

The development of a quick change battery pack system that can be easily removed from the aircraft for recharging will be necessary. The idea of having a customer by an aircraft and rent a battery from the dealer provides a revenue stream not previously seen in aviation. Additionally dealers providing charging services to the battery pack systems for his customers can amortize the cost of a charging system and eliminate the necessity for each customer to buy their own charging system. The ability to be able to fly and return to the airport for a quick change of their battery pack in exchange for another allows the electric flight paradigm to provide for an entire day’s worth of flying while not having to invest in large battery systems either initially or for a long term operational strategy. This allows for the dealers to amortize the cost of batteries and upgrade constantly as the technology changes.

 

Partnering with electric motor providers

We’ve identified that the ultralight industry does not have the volume necessary to develop a truly viable power plant system capable of sustaining itself over time. The developmental changes that are taking place within the industry are happening at an exponential pace. Right now the industry is being led by the model aircraft industry and the number of model aircraft throughout the world that are being built is staggering. These high volumes of aircraft can naturally sustain the investment dollars necessary to develop these power plants and as a result generate competition and ever improving products at a very fast pace. The goal of this aircraft was to develop an aircraft capable of utilizing this powerplant technology being funded and supported from outside of the actual ultralight aircraft industry.

Plettenberg Predator 37 Powerplant System

Our current choice of power plants is the Plettenberg the predator 37 motor 15 kW (20 hp) and 99.3 pounds of static thrust utilizing the 33 inch diameter three bladed propeller. Total weight of this system as used on the EMG-5 prototype weighs 5.3 pounds

Schulze Controller

This is the future-XXL-40.304K controller. This is my latest find in the world of controllers capable of 400 amp peak power output ideally suited for the Plettenberg predator 37 motor. Built-in cooling fins on the bottom of the controller that works in conjunction with the passive rear fuselage cooling ducting system built into the rear fairing. At high power outputs cooling is a relatively big issue.

RASA Carbon Fiber Propeller Blades

Currently we have identified two propeller blade systems that will work excellent with this powerplant combination. Additionally we have manufactured a in-flight adjustable propeller hub system to be utilized with one of the blades. These blades have the ability to function as folding propeller blades to reduce drag. And we have already started the design process on in-flight adjustable propeller blades.

The ability to experiment with low cost (due to the size) propeller blades has resulted in the industry manufacturing some of the most efficient propeller blades in the industry. These propeller blades are extremely light weight, high strength, and aerodynamically efficient. The design allows for a much more favorable span loading and reduced induced tip loss. additional the price for individual blades make for a cost effective addition to the entire powerplant package.

Propeller Technologies to leverage.

The propeller blades on the EMG-6 were designed to be ground adjustable. The primary reason was to provide some options for testing.

In the future we intend to work on the ability to have a in-flight adjustable propeller as well as the current capability on the EMG-6 to have the propeller blades fold to the rear of the motor reducing the drag in the normal flight profile.

Active and passive Cooling systems

 
The design of the aircraft incorporates a rear fairing that collects all of the air from the region of the forward cabin and directs it through the rear fuselage and out the cooling fairing over the batteries, Controller, and the motor. This will leverage the drag losses accompanied with the open cockpit design to provide natural cooing for the powerplant system.

On the latest developments front.

The Plettenberg company has just released three new motors.

Two of these new motors look ideally suited for the ultralight aircraft market both the nova That 15 and 30. The nova That 150 is a bit large for ultralight type aircraft but you can see the progress in this technology and what might be coming for the future of electric aviation.

Click On the link below to get more information from the Plettenberg website.

 

The Nova 15

A 15 KW motor weighing in at 2.5 kg turning 4900 RPM at 80 V developing 30 NM of torque.
This is approximately 20 hp and 5.5 pounds

The Nova 30

A 30 kW motor weighing in at 5 kg turning at 3300 RPM at 120 V developing 105 NM of torque.
This is approximately 40 hp and 11 pounds

The Nova 150

A 150 KW motor weighing in at 11.5 KG, turning at 6000 RPM developing 250 Nm of torque at 350 V.
This is approximately 201 hp and 25.5 pounds

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About Brian Carpenter (255 Articles)
CEO Rainbow Aviation / Adventure Aircraft

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