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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Electric and hybrid propulsion system for aircraft


March 31, 2014

JAXA tests the performance of the FEATHER electric propulsion system

As part of the Flight demonstration of Electric Aircraft Technology for Harmonized Ecological Revolution (FEATHER) project, which completed its last set of tests in May, JAXA conducted performance confirmation tests on an electric propulsion system for small aircraft from October 15 to November 1.
The tests were designed to demonstrate the performance of electric propulsion systems for aircraft and obtain data on the performance required for flight.
For the tests, researchers installed an aircraft motor system designed by JAXA in a 6.5-m x 5.5-m low-speed wind tunnel and measured motor shaft power, motor efficiency, propeller thrust, the temperatures of various motor system parts, and other values.
The data showed that the system had a maximum motor output of 63 kW and motor efficiency levels of 94% or higher, indicating that the motor demonstrates sufficient performance for manned flight. Researchers were also able to confirm that the system fulfills the performance requirements, including the necessary durability and cooling performance levels, for flight at speeds equivalent to those in actual flying environments.
JAXA researchers have also validated the system’s unique technologies for improving energy efficiency and reliability. Development is proceeding smoothly.