Siemens’ latest electric airplane, Extra 330LE, has broken two new world records as the battery-powered aircraft managed to clock a top speed of 210 miles per hour. The second record was it becoming the first plane to tow a glider into the sky. Siemens Extra 330LE prototype plane is unique as it finally managed to overcome the plague of burdensome batteries and low energy density motors which was hindering the practicality of electricity-powered flight.
According to Electrek, Siemens has managed to produce high energy density electric motors and low weight batteries, which enables the Extra 330LE plane to deliver a power output of 260 kilowatts while weighing just 110 pounds. Seimens is also working with Air Bus on E-Fan electric plane concept which looks to create an electric plane powered solely by a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
As reported by Clean Technica, pilot Walter Extra broke the previous American held record by one minute and 10 seconds on March 23, 2017, as the plane flew at a top speed of 337.50 kph over a distance of 3 kilometers with a takeoff weight of less than 1,000 kilograms. Another top speed record of 342.86 kph was made with a takeoff weight of over 1,000 kilograms, both of the flights taking place at Germany’s Dinslaken Schwarze Heide Airfield.
The plane also managed to bring a glider to a height of 600 meters (about 2,000 feet) in merely 76 seconds.
Frank Anton, who is the head of eAircraft at the next47, Siemens venture capital unit said,
“This aerotow provides further, highly visible evidence of our record-setting motor’s performance capabilities. Just six such propulsion units would be sufficient to power a typical 19-seat hybrid-electric airplane.”
Hopefully, this can be the start of more sustainable and eco-friendly air travel in the very near future.