In the research project "HyFly", funded by the by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), we are carrying out system analyses of distributed hybrid propulsion systems for aircrafts together with our project partners. ENGIRO focuses on the development of system competence for high-performance generators and electric aircraft engines.
The main focus of the project is on the conceptual development of a unit consisting of a reluctance generator and a gearlessly coupled gas turbine. It is characterized by the first-time use of a switched reluctance machine for power generation, which operates very efficiently especially at high speeds, which is ideal for the operation of the gas turbine. The battery-support during the start phase and load changes allows the gas turbine's nominal power to be reduced compared with conventional drives and therefore its maintenance intervals to be extended. The power generated is supplied to electric aircraft engines, the pre-development of which is also the subject of this project. New aircraft and propulsion concepts can be realized with the system components under investigation. A comparison of the new drive train with a conventional reference system will prove the development success.
Particularly promising is the distribution of the propulsion to distributed units, which can be switched on or off as required, for example, in order to be able to operate the systems at the best operating point and thus save energy. In addition, this results in redundancy effects that have a positive impact on the aspect of system security, which is particularly important in aviation.