German composite plane maker, Flight Design, will introduce a hybrid engine for light planes at the Aero Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany next month. The concept uses a Rotax engine in combination with an electric booster designed with the help of Franz Aircraft Engines. The booster provides an extra 40-horsepower which is used during takeoff and climbing.
The hybrid system is lighter than a traditional system of similar power, so the concept would theoretically offer higher payload for light aircraft. Flight Design plans to test the new system this year by modifying an existing plane and has already communicated with the European Aviation Safety Agency regarding certification.
Flight Design is the same company that makes the CT ("composite technology") model which has been the top selling light aircraft in the U.S. for four years running. The CT has also been very popular in Europe for over a decade. With this potential new hybrid model in the works, the eco-chic Hollywood-types should be trading in their learjets soon.
Source: Green Car Congress