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Development of an innovative, lightweight air turbine engine with low energy consumption features

To develop a lightweight air turbine engine which applies an innovative method for thrust generation therefore consumes significantly less energy while at the same time has a lightweight feature due to its special design of composite materials.

The project aims to develop an innovative electric air turbine engine which by applying novel methods for thrust generation consumes significantly less energy than the current models. The planned duration of the project is 36 months which involves a development phase of 24 months and an implementation phase of 12 months. The consortium consists of 3 parties, two SMEs and a University. Together they share all the necessary expertise for the design, development and testing of the prototype. The proposed development combines state of the art principles of turbine, vortex and jet engineering in order to create a novel air turbine engine. The choice of materials is also innovative including special lightweight material development (carbon and kevlar composite materials) and special surface coating solutions to enhance and optimize the streamline features of the prototype. The primary and main market of the proposed engine is the powered paragliding sport where it can be marketed as an innovative equipment. Besides the novel methods for generating propulsion the size and weight of the device are also conceived to be reduced by the present development, resulting therefore in important energy consumption reduction as compared to the current powered paragliding motors. The first attempts to develop electric powered paragliding motors started more than 10 years ago. A few models have been introduced to the market recently, however all of these models bear the discommodity of having to carry high amounts of accumulators due to their significant electric power consumption and allowing therefore only a short flying time. Due to the novel method of propulsion generation combined with the use of lightweight materials such as carbon and Kevlar fiber reinforced plastics the proposed device can account for a triplex reduction in the important factor of weight compared to the current models. The proposed thrust generation applies small propellers resulting in the size reduction, whereas the low electric consumption allows the weight of the accumulators to be radically reduced. With regards to these features, the development of the proposed prototype would allow the introduction of a unique product on the market, sufficient for the global market. It is estimated that production can take place within approximately 6 months after the prototype has been successfully finalized and tested. Once this method is proved sufficient, the application of the engine in other fields of aviation sport can also be considered.
Acronym: 
TURBINE_2012
Project ID: 
8 051
Start date: 
01-03-2013
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
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Market Area: 
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