SAMSON started an electric adventure.
Being the first to manufacture a motorized aircraft entirely propelled with hydrogen, and the first two-seater electric trike, La Mouette definitely has an edge on electrical technology.
There is a growing demand for electric trikes. However, there are several
compromises that demand the clarification for the users to make the best choice. There are two distinct sources of electrical technology: one that is supplied by battery and the other by an alternative source. Although, thanks to the fuel cells, the second one is on the rise, today it remains experimental due to complications related to hydrogen supply.
At La Mouette, we’ve decided to wait for the hydrogen supply chain to mature before offering this technology to interested parties. In the meantime, due to proven battery technology, there are different solutions guided by the right balance of autonomy, weight, cost and power.
To date, we can offer 5 different motors with power output of 12, 16, 20, 32 and
50Kw. (1Kw = 1.35962Cv). For the same takeoff weight (TOW), every one of these engines will consume approximately the same amount of energy. Thus a 12Kw engine propelling a 190kg TOW SAMSON will consume as much energy as a 32kw enginepropelling the same 190kg TOW SAMSON. On the other hand if the user suddenly needs more energy, the 12Kw engine would be limited to 12Kw of whereas a 32 Kw could provide more (and also consume more).
The LI-Ion batteries that we currently use to power the motors come in 15.5kg packs and have an energy density ranging from 3.1 to 3.5 Kwh / Pack. A SAMSON trike mounted on a SAMSON 12 flex wing can fly about 2 minutes per kg of battery carried in a single-seater and 1 minute per kg in a two-seater. A battery pack will therefore be able to fly a SAMSON of 190kg PTV for 30 minutes while cruising, or 15 minutes at 270kg engine at full speed. The batteries can only deliver a certain power. Therefore, for more powerful engines it is necessary to put more batteries to exploit their full power. However, the more batteries you add, the more the TOW increases and ultimately the more power you need.
Energy fuels the engine; power is energy divided by time. Energy is a quantity;
power is instantaneous.
To find a machine that suits your needs, there must be a compromise. There are
two types of batteries: 1) those which provide a lot of power to limit the load weight but have shorter flight times. 2) those which contain more energy to fly for a longer period but cannot deliver enough power at once.
It goes without saying: a lighter the trike will be more efficient and consume less
Below are some combinations to guide your choices:
On a 12Kw engine (for single-seater flight only)
1 high-discharge battery will be sufficient to power all 12 Kw but it will only get you to the first thermal.
1 high-density battery cannot power all 12Kw but 2 high-density batteries will get you a longer flight than 2 high-discharge batteries.
A 16Kw engine for an intense single-seater flight or a very occasional two-seater
flight depending on the wing and the TOW needs a minimum of 2 high discharge batteries or 3 high-density batteries.
A 20Kw engine for an occasional tandem flight needs a minimum of 3 high-discharge batteries or 4 high-density batteries.
A 32Kw engine for a slow tandem flight, needs a minimum of 4 high-discharge
batteries. High-density batteries will not provide enough power.
1 battery is about 30 minutes of flight and 15.5kg. The high density have 3.5Kwh of energy when the high discharge only have 3.1Kwh for the same weight.