e-Sling

The climate is changing and everyone knows that. Instead of looking away our generation has the opportunity but also the responsibility to work on that problem and create a better future. It is a gigantic task and also a huge pressure that is exerted on our generation.

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19 Oct, 2021

e-Sling

This article was discussed in our Next Byte podcast

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Problem Description

The climate is changing and everyone knows that. Instead of looking away our generation has the opportunity but also the responsibility to work on that problem and create a better future. It is a gigantic task and also a huge pressure that is exerted on our generation. Of course we can’t change the whole world at once but at least we can make a contribution to a sustainable future. Therefore we picked a small subarea to work on: The aviation industry is nowadays mainly based on fossil fuels. This is a huge problem regarding climate change because the worldwide air traffic is responsible for a considerable amount of the total CO2 emissions. Apart from that the natural resources are exhausted worldwide and the traditional aviation is in danger. With our project e-Sling Project H2 we want to revolutionize the aviation industry, design it sustainable and make flying still possible in the future. In this way we want to create an impact and be an example how students can somehow change the world.

Product Description

In the first project e-Sling a 4-seated aircraft from the south African manufacturer Sling Aircraft was fully electrified with a modular battery system. Within the last year the students have collected valuable knowledge on which we can build our new project e-Sling Project H2. Students from last year’s project will attend our project as coaches and support where needed.

Our vision is to develop a hydrogen powertrain for a small aircraft within one year. We want to test it extensively so it can be implemented in a proper aircraft in a follow-up project next summer.

The first step for our project was already made. The plane of last year’s project e-Sling is about to be certified and will conduct first testing flight in the time coming.

Both the certification and the first flights will give us a lot of educational experience with which we get one step closer to our dream of flying with a hydrogen powered aircraft.

As part of an ETH focus project, 8 prospective mechanical and electrical engineers want to develop the lightest hydrogen powertrain for a small aircraft until October 2022 and test this one extensively on a testbench. The tested innovative powertrain will pave the way for a follow-up project which will implement the powertrain in a small plane.

There are many reasons why e-Sling Project H2 is needed: Of course is the main aspect the environment. We want to face one of the greatest challenges in aviation: making it sustainable. To achieve this, we want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 100%, the total greenhouse gases by up to 90% and eliminate noise pollution by 75%.

Another important point is the technology: Hydrogen has a higher power density than the batteries built in the previous e-Sling aircraft. We are willing to optimize the last focus project using a hydrogen propulsion system. This way, the weight will be reduced, the flight range increased, and flying will become even safer!

At the same time out project differentiate itself in three main aspects: First of all it is our goal to develop the lightest hydrogen powertrain for a small aircraft. With the innovative powertrain we can expand the range or payload of a future aircraft.

Secondly our aircraft will reach an enormous range: With the extraordinary high energy density of hydrogen longer flight times can be realized with which we can make a significant step towards our vision of flying with hydrogen.

And last but not least the extraordinary project setup: The ETH focus project is an alliance of talented ETH engineers and established industry partners working hand in hand. The project serves as a scientific platform to reach new horizons in aviation.

Specifications

General 

Maximum take-off weight: 
950 kg
Range:
250 km
Wing span:
10.5 m
Motor power:
22.5 Nm/kg
Inverter power:
110 kW
Energy: 50 kWh
Voltage:
718 V
Energy density:
180 Wh/kg
Volume flow:
65l/min


E-Sling Team


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student researcher program

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19 Oct, 2021

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