Starting from a single-seat aircraft available on the market (brand and model undisclosed) and fitted with a 4-stroke Honda gasoline engine, engineering students have added an electric motor / generator that can charge the battery in flight, electric motor and combustion engine are coupled to the same pulley that drives the propeller.
The main premiere of this plane is to demonstrate the ability to charge the batteries during the flight!
The electric motor helps during phases requiring a maximum power such as take-off, but once the altitude and cruise speed are reached the electric motor can move in generator mode or assist the combustion engine to minimize fuel consumption.
16 lithium polymer battery cells are placed in the wings in specific compartments. The first flight tests conducted on the Sywell Aerodrome near Northampton showed an efficiency increased by 30%!
Via Engineer // Cambridge Univeristy