Flight Design Presents New Propulsion System

KRICHHEIM, GERMANY — Flight Design GmbH, a Light-Sport Aircraft Manufacturer, will debut one of the first legitimate "green" projects for light aircraft powerplants at the Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Aero is scheduled to run April 2-5, 2009, and will include the event's first show-within-the-show, the E-Flight-Expo.

"Rising oil prices and environmental regulations will begin to force airplane manufacturers to rethink propulsion systems. Flight Design is sure that in the long term, research developments for electric or hydrogen powered propulsion systems will provide realistic, useful solutions," says Flight Design CEO, Matthias Betsch. "To have in the short and middle term efficient and environmentally-friendly airplanes for general aviation, Flight Design has in the last two years developed together with Franz Aircraft Engines a Hybrid concept, which first will be shown to the public at Aero."

Flight Design explains that the concept is based on using a well-established certified aircraft engine together with an electric booster. The concept combines the reliability of a certified engine with a very high boost power of the electric motor, which is only used for take-off and climb.

"The result is an optimized engine in respect to size, weight and fuel efficiency for cruise flight, with additional 40 horsepower for take-off, climb or during an engine stoppage due to fuel starvation," says Betsch.

Due to of the low installed system weight, the propulsion system will give new possibilities for general aviation airplanes by increasing payload. First flight tests of the new powerplant system will be made in 2009 using an existing airplane. Flight Design also indicated that preliminary talks with the EASA regarding sensible ways of certification have been already successfully conducted.