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Electric ‘aircraft’ with a speed of 250 km/h

NorwayElfly Company is developing a small electric seaplane that could transform local passenger traffic.

The first part of the seaplane sample in the test tank.  Photo: Elfly

The first part of the seaplane sample in the test tank. Image: Elfly

Currently, Elfly company is testing the design of the first part of the aircraft at the test tank of the independent research company SINTEF in Trondheim. They are planning to take off a life-size prototype within the next three years. According to Eric Lithun, chief executive officer of Elfly, their goal is to provide a flexible, zero-emissions vehicle that significantly reduces noise pollution, creating a new sustainable business model. .

The new seaplane model needs to have a locomotive design that consumes as little power as possible during take-off. The biggest challenge is finding the optimal combination of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, says Kourosh Koushan, research scientist at SINTEF. The propulsion above the wing often causes the bow of the ship to dip into the water before the vehicle accelerates and ascends gradually.

The test of the locomotive is taking place in the SINTEF Ship Model tank. In the 260 m long tank, the locomotive model is towed to discover the optimal shape. “We test the locomotive by pulling it at various angles and assessing how this affects water resistance. The testing provides data that we can use to create simulations. take-off phase. We will compare the results to come up with improvements for the locomotive,” explained Koushan.

If Elfy is successful, the new seaplane model will be electric, eco-friendly, quiet, and fly short distances between locations. According to Lithun, the seaplane model not only can take off and land on water, but also has wheels that allow the vehicle to operate at the airport. It can fly 200 km at a speed of about 250 km/h. Flight time between Bergen and Stavanger will only last 40 minutes instead of 4-5 hours by car.

The company will purchase the motor and battery pack of the seaplane model from the partner. The vehicle’s battery pack can weigh up to 1.7 tons and charge anywhere. This seaplane has enough room for 9 passengers. Elfly’s goal is to put 15-20 seaplanes into service by 2030.

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