Lithium sulfur battery for commercial electric aircraft
UK lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery technology company Oxis Energy is working with Texas Aircraft Manufacturing to develop an all metal, two-seater fully electric aircraft.
Based on Texas Aircraft’s popular Colt S-LSA, the eColt will have a comfortable two-seat cabin. Oxis says the flight time of the electric aircraft will be in excess of two hours and an approximate range of 200 nautical miles.
“OXIS Li-S technology offers significant benefits to aviation. This collaboration between Oxis Energy, Texas Aircraft, and two other forward-thinking Brazilian corporations will put Brazil at the forefront of designing, manufacturing and exporting the electrification of regional aircraft worldwide. The partnership will create highly skilled jobs throughout Brazil, and contribute to major exports both in products, services and expertise,” said Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO of OXford-based Oxis Energy.
The company has backing from Brazilian investors and an R&D centre and manufacturing plant in Brazil:
“The opportunity to be at the forefront of the transformation Brazil’s private aviation to all-electric power is an amazing opportunity. With its wide cabin and exceptionally pilot-friendly flight characteristics, the eColt is going to be a fantastic airplane for flight training and personal transportation in Brazil and around the world,” said Matheus Grande, CEO, Texas Aircraft Manufacturing.
The use of sulfur as a non-conductive material provides enhanced safety and is superior to current lithium-ion technology says Hampson-Jones. The 90kWh battery system for the aircraft, which is 40 percent lighter than current Li-Ion technology, will be powered by the Oxis ‘High Power’ cell with an energy density of 400Wh/kg.
The two-seater Colt S-LSA is suited for the training of commercial airline pilots. Despite the fallout from the COVID 19 pandemic, over the next decade there will be a growing shortage of commercial pilots throughout the world. Free from the high polluting effects of the lead-based fuel used in aircraft today, the all-electric Texas Aircraft eColt will provide an efficient, clean mechanism for new pilots whilst decreasing training costs substantially.
All of the aircraft’s key airframe and power components will be manufactured in Brazil. The aircraft will be designed and developed at the Texas Aircraft Manufacturing facility in Campinas. The Li-S battery cells will be made at the Oxis factory in Juiz de Flora and the powertrain supplied by WEG of Jaragua do Sul. The battery and its Management System (BMS) will be provided by AKAER Group of San Jose dos Campos.
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