Embraer has revealed their first all-electric demonstrator, a fixed-wing aircraft that is currently under development as the Ipanema project.
The prototype is based off of the EMB-203 Ipanema agricultural aircraft, a small single-engine aircraft, in order to test and evaluate the electric engine prototypes. “We chose Ipanema because it is our platform that requires the least modifications to receive electric propulsion systems,” said Daniel Moczydlowe, Embraer’s Vice President of Engineering and Technology, “It will be a prototype system designed to test technology on short, 30-minute flights”.
The demonstrator’s electric motor and controller are being designed and manufactured by Brazilian electric engineering company WEG SA, at the company’s HQ at Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, as part of their agreement in May. The cooler is being provided by Parker Aerospace. Especially in the next few months, Embraer and these companies will be heavily involved in testing the various systems involved in the all-electric aircraft design in lab conditions, and the first flight for the demonstrator is scheduled for 2020.
Why it’s important: The Ipanema project has large implications for the development process for EmbraerX, Embraer’s urban air tax division. As the new eVTOL will most likely have to feature high efficiency and reliability paired with low operating costs and environmental and noise footprints, a fully-finished all-electric engine would be a perfect fit for the new air taxi by EmbraerX. “As a market accelerator committed to developing solutions to transform life’s experiences, we have been combining human-centered design thinking with our 50-year history of building and engineering expertise in a unique manner,” said Antonio Campello, President & CEO, EmbraerX, “These are the factors behind the technical progress and leading-edge innovations we are bringing to this new eVTOL concept.”
Sources // The Driven