Electric powered aircraft to KTH
KTH has recently received an electric powered aircraft from Saab in Linköping. The aircraft type, known as the Windex 1200, was originally developed by a small team involving KTH Professor Sven-Olof Ridder.
is also the developer of
the Windex wind direction indicator
that is installed at the tip of the mast on most sailboats in the world. The basic aircraft is a single seat motor glider that requires very little power to fly at relatively high speed due to the very aerodynamically efficient design. Most Windex aircraft are equipped with small combustion engines and with only a 20 kW engine it can cruise at 210 km/h using only 50% power.
The aircraft was used as the airframe for the More Electric Research Aircraft (MERA) which was developed by Saab in Linköping with financial support from the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV). The MERA Windex is equipped with batteries and an electric motor and was used to demonstrate the use of electrical propulsion in flight. The first flight was in 2009 and a short flight test program was conducted to demonstrate the technology before the project was completed in 2010.
The MERA Windex has now been transferred to KTH and will be operated and further developed at KTH. Significant further work is needed to achieve airworthiness under civil regulations so there will be some time before the aircraft flies again. The aircraft will also be used in student projects concerning flight mechanics, aeroelasticity and structural dynamics. There are plans for an upgraded electrical propulsion system and future flight testing. The aircraft has previously been flown as a military test aircraft and will now be transferred to civil registration.