Electric propulsion systems continue to make strides forward in light aircraft, following the successful first flights of a new version from Flight Design and Siemens’ eAircraft division. A version of the Flight Design F2e made its first public flight on June 5 in Strausberg, Germany, powered by a Siemens SP55D-driven electric propulsion system, in partnership with its eAircraft unit and APUS, a Strausberg-based company specializing in systems integration.
The F2, normally powered by regular and turbo versions of the Rotax 912iS, was announced at AERO Friedrichshafen in April 2019, and classified as an Ultralight (600 kg) in Europe, or as a 650 kg CS-23 certified aircraft, and as an S-LSA in the United States. ASTM LSA and UL approval were anticipated early this summer, along with EASA approval later in the season.
The carbon-fiber composite airplane is aimed at the training market, and continues the company’s forays into environmentally driven improvement, to include noise impacts as well as reduced carbon emissions.
The Siemens system includes the SP55D 55 kW direct-drive motor, an inverter, and a modular control system EPUIII. The system has been extensively ground tested as well as flight tested prior to the public unveiling. While performance figures still remain to be determined following the complete flight test program, Flight Design expects the electric propulsion system to add significantly to the overall weight of the airplane. “Loaded with batteries for about 2 to 3 hours of flight with two people on board, a maximum takeoff weight of 1,100 kg is expected,” said the company in a statement.