We are pushing the envelope of human knowledge

An extremely high-performance drive system from WITTENSTEIN is helping scientists at the "Bürgernahes Flugzeug" (Aircraft for People) research institute to build the aircraft of the future.

Scientists invent the aviation of tomorrow

At the "Bürgernahes Flugzeug" research institute, scientists from the German Aerospace Center, the Braunschweig University of Technology and Leibniz University in Hanover are developing technologies for the commercial aircraft of the future. Their goal is to enable intra-European air travel using point-to-point connections from small city airports. For this purpose, the tomorrow's aircraft must have quiet, low-emission propulsion systems and innovative high-lift systems enabling much shorter runways for takeoff and landing.

WITTENSTEIN electronics GmbH - Walter-Wittenstein-Straße 1

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High performance, highly compact

To test the scientists' ideas in a wind tunnel, a model was developed consisting of an electric motor, propellers and high-lift wings. This model was operated with electronics matched to the motor. A motor was created that could deliver the required power and that was just 430 mm in length and only 235 mm in width and height. In addition, the motor weighs only 117 kg. We also manufacture the corresponding power electronics and adapt them to the requirements of the application. This enables continuous adjustment and control of the electric motor and thus also the propeller, with extremely compact dimensions (volume approx. 10 l) and a weight of just 10 kg.

A drive to meet the demands of the future

Because motors in particular require very high power densities, which places high demands on electronics, the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery at the Braunschweig University of Technology commissioned the experts at WITTENSTEIN electronics and their colleagues at WITTENSTEIN cyber motor to develop and supply a suitable motor together with matched power electronics. The specifications provided posed a formidable challenge: Sustained operation up to the specified operating point with a torque of 235 Nm and an engine speed of 7,150 rpm and a resulting maximum power of 175 kW. For the electronics supplied with a DC voltage of 800 V, this means output currents of up to 250 A and the use of "field weakening" in order to operate the motor outside of its natural speed range. Furthermore, the propulsion system also meets the high demands of motor synchronization.


Progressive motor

All of the demands on the drive system could be simulated in the wind tunnel. Thanks to our developments, the performance tests uncovered key findings for the future of aviation.