The engines of the future electric planes of Siemens are being developed in a Hungarian startup, according to Forbes.hu.
11 April 2016. An electric engine system developed by Hungarian engineers makes a two-seated plane hit the sky in Matkópuszta. The plane was manned by Magnus Aircraft’s pilot, who was eager to try the innovation. The second passenger was Dr Frank Anton, who is the leader of Siemens’ team that develops electric drive systems in Germany. He played a vital role in trusting the Hungarian engineers with developing this system. The passenger of the fourth trip was Balázs Zeitler, who is the economic manager of the Hungarian developer team.
The Hungarian subsidiary has factories, market, service and software development unit in Hungary. The Hungarian management decided to establish a development and research branch in the local enterprise in 2013.
“The demand for creating something new came from below, while the permission came from above”, Balázs Zeitler stated.
His companion is Dr Gegerly György Balázs, who is the local manager. They have a team of 45-50 people: there are full-time and part-time workers, as well as apprentices from the university.
First they were interested in electric cars, but Dr Anton’s visit in Hungary gave them the idea to join the innovation wave of Germany. So they switched to electric planes. The German center is dedicated to larger planes and airliners — they have become partners with Airbus — while the Hungarian team focuses on smaller planes. Budapest University of Technology funded the prototype of the electric drive system. This engine lifted a Magnus eFusion into the sky a year ago, and a second one followed this year. A formation flying was in Jakabszállás, which was recorded as a video footage.
The Hungarian team of Siemens is the first that developed electric engines for planes as a large enterprise.
They aim to make it a product in a couple of years. In the long run, they hope that in 5-10 years no one will hesitate to choose the electric ones among smaller planes. Dr Gergely György Balázs highlighted that, though the electric plane will never be as widespread as the electric car, it will be a considerable alternative within its category. He added that security is a critical factor in developing electric planes. Needless to say, a malfunction is a much more severe problem in the case of a plane than in the case of a car.
Corporate Technology is a novelty among large enterprises. It works as a startup: Siemens gave the “initiative”, as they funded the growing number of employees and established the required circumstances.
The k+f (research and development) work is in process in other branches of Siemens as well, but they concentrate on creating new inventions right now to ensure both Siemens’ success and the improvement of technology.
Though the leaders do not invest money in the project, they work a lot on it. They have close connections to Budapest University of Technology, as Gergely teaches there and Balázs received his degree and lead projects in the institution.
The startup is developing into a small enterprise. They used to work in a single room, but now they need to call conferences.