27 July 2022
+VIDEO Electric propulsion systems for aircraft are complicated things with developers taking different routes. Take the new system produced by Electric Power Systems (EPS) to power Diamond’s electric project, the eDA40.
It’s on display at Oshkosh and was completed days before the event. It’s the pre-prototype version – another will follow to actually power the eDA40 – but it shows how EPS works differently from, say, Pipistrel with its certified Velis Electro.
The eDA40 system has a Safran ENGINeUS 100 motor which delivers 130kW maximum for take-off. EPS provides the battery pack – known as a ‘string’ – with half the batteries under the cowling and half in a belly pod under the fuselage. Where it differs from Pipistrel fundamentally is that EPS liquid cools the batteries only during the recharge process, when most heat is generated, whereas the Velis Electro system is constantly liquid-cooled.
A quick reminder about the eDA40: It’s a derivative of the existing and certified DA40 platform, and will be the first EASA/FAA Part 23 certified electric airplane with DC fast charging, says Diamond Aircraft. Initial flights of the eDA40 are scheduled for Q4 2022. Certification is expected end of 2023/beginning of 2024 and EPS is pursuing dual certification with both authorities simultaneously.
The eDA40 is designed to be a circuit trainer with a total flight time of up to 90 minutes. Operating costs are expected to be reduced by up to 40% compared to traditional piston aircraft.
The battery module will be equipped with a DC fast charging system, capable of turning around a depleted aircraft in under 20 minutes.