Lightweight megawatt-scale drive systems are essential if electric propulsion is ever to succeed in commercial aircraft. Systems much more powerful than those in cars and far lighter than in ships are required. NASA has launched research into electric motors and power converters at the megawatt level, as these could support the near- or medium-term development of partially turboelectric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft up to single-aisle airliner size. Hardware is already ...

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