Is the future of flight electric?

AUAS Aviation students participate in research at Teuge Airport

12 Sep 2019 13:01 | Centre for Applied Research Technology

Electric flight will help make aviation more sustainable; it is cleaner, quieter and more economical than conventional aviation. Knowledge institutes, research institutes and the business community are working with the government to become frontrunners in electric aviation in Europe. Students of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) are also involved in this. They are studying the implications of the emergence of electric aircraft for regulations, aircraft maintenance and airport infrastructure.

The AUAS students are not only considering the airside, where the planes are, but also the landside: for example, terminals, access roads and parking facilities. The supply and storage of sustainably generated energy is also being researched, as are regulations and the maintenance of electric aircraft.

Graduation project on electric flight

Last semester, four students from the AUAS Aviation Academy started their graduation project at the Dutch Electric Aviation Centre (DEAC). Over the next five years, new graduating students and/or interns will join DEAC each semester, where they will continue to build on the research conducted by their predecessors. Students from other degree programmes in the Faculty of Technology or the AUAS can also participate, depending on the research questions.

Cessna Skymaster test plane

The Cessna Skymaster test plane has been at Teuge Airport since 6 September. This aircraft from DEAC will be used for research into hybrid electric flight. The aircraft is suitable for electrification because it has two in-line engines. After an initial extensive series of ground and flight tests, the rear engine will be replaced by an electric one, resulting in a hybrid powered aircraft.

About DEAC

As a national knowledge centre, the Dutch Electric Aviation Centre (DEAC) focuses on general aviation. The knowledge developed is also expected to be applicable to commercial aviation in the future. The electrification of the Cessna Skymaster is one of DEAC’s tasks. The knowledge centre was founded at the beginning of 2019 and is an initiative of Teuge Airport and the Cleantech Region, with support from Delft University of Technology, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, ROC Deltion Zwolle and several aviation companies.