Lange To Help Lyte with Hybrid Hydrogen Powertrain for VTOL Aircraft




Lange To Help Lyte with Hybrid Hydrogen Powertrain for VTOL Aircraft.


Lange Aviation will help develop a prototype hybrid-hydrogen-electric powertrain for Lyte Aviation’s planned 40-seat SkyBus LA-44 aircraft. The risk-sharing partnership was announced this week, in tandem with plans for Lyte to recruit PhD students from Cranfield University’s new Centre for Doctoral Training in net zero aviation.


Germany-based Lange Aviation has been working on electric propulsion for aircraft since 1999, and, working with the country’s DLR aerospace research agency, has been flight testing fuel cell technology on the Antares DLR-H2 testbed. It is now preparing to start flying the higher-performance Antares E2 model later this year, and this will also use hydrogen fuel cells, which are set to be a key aspect of the SkyBus powertrain.


According to Lyte Aviation’s founder and CEO, Freshta Farzam, Lange’s expertise in electric and hybrid propulsion technology—combined with its knowledge of certification processes—will help the Hamburg-based start-up to advance its plans to bring the SkyBus into commercial service in the next five to six years. In addition to the passenger-carrying model, the company is also working on a freighter version called the SkyTruck LA-44C, and a 19-seat X-Prime version for the business aviation sector.


Lyte Aviation, which is still in the early stages of fundraising, is aiming to have the propulsion system for the SkyBus prototype aircraft ready within a year. The powertrain developed for the Antares testbed can operate on battery power or fuel cells alone, or in hybrid mode, which the companies said will make it easier to test the fuel cell technology.


Farzam, said:


Our innovative approach for the hybrid-hydrogen [propulsion system] for our 40-seater eVTOL requires great pioneer minds and experts that [will] realize with us a quick and certifiable prototype.


“We see Lange Aviation and their CEO Axel Lange as a great value add-on to our technology. Our partnership focuses on hybridization and certification of our hybrid-hydrogen power output for our prototype.”


The Antares E2 is being developed by Lange Aviation’s sister company Lange Research Aircraft. With six propellers and electric motors, and a wingspan of 23 meters (75 feet), it is expected to have a range of up to 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) and an endurance of 20 flight hours with a payload of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). The company is based at Zweibrücken Airport, where flight testing can be conducted, and it employs 30 people.



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