The Next Generation of Electric Aircraft

A more energy efficient, light-weight electric engine for larger, commercial aircraft 

Dr. Rodger Dyson, NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas Electric Propulsion technical lead., and the science boys of NASA's Glenn Research Center are using Plum Brook Station's newest test bed to design and engineer the next generation of aviation propulsion. Credits: NASA
Dr. Rodger Dyson, NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas Electric Propulsion technical lead., and the science boys of NASA’s Glenn Research Center are using Plum Brook Station’s newest test bed to design and engineer the next generation of aviation propulsion. Credits: NASA

Space news (new aeronautics technology: Glenn Research Center; NASA’s Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) – 6,400-acre site near Sandusky, Ohio, home to four world-class test facilities –  

The drive to create more energy efficient, light-weight electric engines for quieter cars that emit less carbon’s heading upward into the friendly skies. Engineers and scientists working at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are conducting the first tests of a new electric aircraft engine in their Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) at Plum Brook Station. A new electric engine capable of powering a small aircraft carrying up to two people into the skies and possibly one day even larger commercial aircraft carrying travelers around the world. The successors of this amazing new technology could one-day power manned flight to the planets in the solar system and the stars beyond. 

Engineers conduct the first test of an electric aircraft engine in NASA’s Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) at Plum Brook Station. Credits: NASA
Engineers conduct the first test of an electric aircraft engine in NASA’s Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) at Plum Brook Station.
Credits: NASA

“As large airline companies compete to reduce emissions, fuel burn, noise and maintenance costs, it is expected that more of their aircraft systems will shift to using electrical power,” said Dr. Rodger Dyson, NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas-Electric Propulsion technical lead.  

Dr. Rodger Dyson, NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas-Electric Propulsion technical lead. Credits: NASA
Dr. Rodger Dyson, NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas-Electric Propulsion technical lead. Credits: NASA

What’s next?

The team of engineers he leads hope to spark a change in the commercial aircraft industry and manned space flight that will make a significance difference in aviation and aeronautics. 

“What we’re hoping to learn now is how to make it more efficient and light-weight,” said Dyson. “Next year we’re going to upgrade the size of these motors — we’ll use the same technology to test the higher-power stuff next.” 

“We look forward to making a difference in aviation,” said Dyson. 

Read about the X-57 Electric Propulsion Aircraft being assembled by engineers and scientists at NASA.

Read and learn more about China’s long march to the stars.

Learn how astronomers study the stars?

Learn more about NASA’s Glenn Research Center

Join the voyage of NASA across the cosmos here

Discover NASA’s Plum Book Station

 

 

 

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