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Electric and Hybrid Powered Aircraft – making energy go further

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In this talk I shall outline recent advances in the application of electric and hybrid (combined electric and fuel-burning) propulsion systems for aircraft, over a range of scale from small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to airliners; concentrating on the mid-scale sector ie. light aircraft. The talk will include a brief introduction to aerodynamics, illustrating the power requirements for flight, and outline the key technological developments that are enabling the transition to electrically powered aircraft. I shall also describe some of the practical projects I have been involved with over the last few years developing electric and hybrid demonstrator aircraft, and the lessons we have learned from them. Finally, some predictions will be presented on how aircraft propulsion may develop in the future and the impact these could have on energy consumption in aviation.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Philosophical Society series.

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