Scaled Flight Demonstrator for Distributed Electric Propulsion Completes Maiden Flight

February 28, 2023

As part of a joint research project of the Institutes of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics (IAG), Aircraft Engineering (IFB) and Flight Mechanics and Control (iFR), the maiden flight of the new, unmanned test platform "e-Genius-Mod" for research into distributed, electric propulsion systems took place.

The modular technology demonstrator e-Genius-Mod of the University of Stuttgart took off packed with sensors for investigating distributed electric propulsion - a key technology for future eco-friendly aviation. Eight electric motors along the leading edge propel the aircraft in its latest configuration. The extensive measurement system renders the scaled demonstrator a flying wind tunnel. A beyond-state-of-the-art autopilot system guarantees repeatable conditions for gathering high-quality sensor data during autonomous flight. The recorded data allow quantifying how distributed electric propulsion affects aerodynamic drag, augmented lift, and propeller noise. The system enables in-flight demonstrations of novel control concepts to leverage the potential of distributed electric propulsion.

Maiden flight of the "e-Genius-Mod

© iFR

The 1:3 scaled flight demonstrator forms the backbone of the interdisciplinary research project VELAN at the University of Stuttgart, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The project integrates cross-discipline research in the areas of aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, aircraft design and flight mechanics and controls.

An extensive flight testing campaign will take place at the Testfeld eFliegen BW, a flight testing facility for electric, energy-efficient, and autonomous aviation. The University of Stuttgart leads the operating association AREA BW.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Strohmayer at +4971168569567, E-Mail

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