THE Embraer wants to develop electric powered airplanes and, for that, announced a scientific and technological cooperation agreement with Weg, company specialized in electric motors. The first demonstration flight for this project is scheduled for 2020.
For this first phase, the goal is to develop the technology, not a specific product. Because of this, after the period of laboratory tests, both companies will implement the system under development in an aircraft model that already exists: the EMB-203 Ipanema.
It is a small aircraft, single engine and wingspan of 13.3 m. Launched in 2015 as an update to the Embraer EMB-200 series, the EMB-203 Ipanema is intended for agricultural applications.
Weg, on the other hand, will use its experience in vehicle design as a base: “our powertrain, developed over years for applications in trains, buses, trucks and boats, tested and in constant evolution, qualified us for this great project ”, says Manfred Peter Johann, Managing Director of Weg Automação.
THE Folha de S.Paulo, the executive said that the EMB-203 combustion engine to be used in the project will be removed for the installation of a Weg electric propeller. The battery will be provided by Embraer. As already said, the first flight is scheduled for 2020.
Only from there will projects for electric planes made from scratch be able to emerge. But Johann said it was unlikely that the technology could replace combustion engines for large aircraft in the near future.
The executive believes, however, that electric motors may be viable in aircraft that take short routes. It is therefore assumed that the technology from the project may serve as the basis for the flying electric vehicle that Embraer announced last year. None of the companies indicated this possibility, however.