Electric aviation manufacturer Kite Magnetics officially opened their Green Aviation Test Facility last month at an event showcasing the company’s electric motor testing capabilities, including an in-house designed and built dynamometer and thrust stand.
According to a statement from the Melbourne-based startup – which says it is committed to becoming a major player in the rapidly evolving electric aircraft propulsion industry – attendees witnessed Kite’s 120 kilowatt electric engine in action for the very first time.
“In under 12 months and for less than 1 million USD we have progressed from an empty warehouse to a world-class test facility and a rapidly growing product line-up,” said CEO Dr Richard Parsons (pictured) in a statement on Tuesday.
The first product, the KM-120, is currently undergoing performance evaluation and reliability testing in preparation for flight testing in early 2024.
The propulsion system was launched in March. According to the company, the electric motor is more powerful than a typical small car but compact enough to fit into a packed travel suitcase, includes an 800V inverter and an air-cooled gearless electric motor with variable pitch propeller support, and is designed for fixed-wing electric training aircraft and the emerging eVTOL market.
The motor is based on Kite Magetics’s proprietary Aeroperm nanocrystalline magnetic core material, developed by Kite co-founder Dr Richard Parsons and Professor Kiyonori Suzuki at Monash University.
“Aeroperm, which lies at the heart of our motors and has a 10 times reduction in energy loss, enables our motors to be smaller, lighter and more efficient than anything else in our class,” said Parsons.
“It is this technology that will enable us to make electric aircraft engines that will one day power all of us into the sky”.