The first aircraft with an electric motor will be demonstrated at the MAKS International Air and Space Salon, taking place on July 20-25 in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters this week.
“This is what was done with the Fund of Advanced Studies – an electric airplane based on superconductivity principles,” Borisov said. The electric motor is part of the hybrid powertrain demonstrator that Russia’s Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) is developing.
An innovative electric motor based on high-temperature superconductors with a capacity of 500 kW (679 HP) was created by materials specialist Superox.
Trials of a promising superconductive aircraft electric motor started on February 5. A special flying laboratory has been created on the basis of the Yak-40 aircraft.
For flight tests, one of the three Yak-40 engines, which are located in the tail section, was replaced by a turboshaft gas turbine engine with an electric generator developed by CIAM together with the Ufa Aviation Technical University. The electric motor, which uses high-temperature superconductivity and a cryogenic system, was installed in the trijet’s nose.
According to the CEO of CIAM Mikhail Gordin, this is one of the most important projects in modern aviation. The use of a hybrid power plant based on the high-temperature superconducting platform, or HTSP, is designed to solve a number of technological issues that air transport is already facing, he said.
Andrey Vavilov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Superox, said that Russian scientists are the first in the world to start testing an electric aircraft engine on the HTSP. “Our developments are based on many years of research and testing: We have hundreds of manufactured windings prototypes and about ten manufactured and tested engine samples of different capacities,” he said.
It is planned that the new technology will be used to create engines and electric power complexes for all-electric aircraft and helicopters.