In 2016 Rolf Stuber founded in Grenchen (canton of Solothurn) smartflyer AG, which is focused on developing a 4-seats hybrid-electric aircraft. It is expected that the first flight should follow by the end of 2020. The arcraft can reach the speed of 220km/h and fly up to 920km.
For now, smartflyer is a twin engine plane with one propeller. His electric motor accelerates and you lift off. As soon as the aircraft leaves the airport zone, its range extender will start to produce electric energy to charge the batteries. During descent the range extender will shut down giving an incredible feeling of gliding in the air.
As it follows from smartflyer’s website its “electric motor has an efficiency of more than 90%, transferring 90% of delivered energy to drive the propeller” with the loss of 10%. A combustion engine, which produce 70% of loss in heat.
It has a range extender in case of shutting down the batteries. Just batteries allow to fly for 30 minutes.
Grenchen airport is said to become the first base for electric aircrafts.
Electric aircrafts are no more a dream. Thus, the government of Norway said that they have hopes about seeing all of Norway’s short-haul airliners by 2040.
“We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric,” he said, noting that would cover all domestic flights and those to neighbouring Scandinavian capitals. [Guardian]