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Hawk to take flight with Australian e-motor this year

Manufacturing News

Monash University spin-out Kite Magnetics and Canadian wooden and composite kit aircraft company CKD Aero have unveiled the new Dakota e-Hawk (pictured), which they claim is “the world’s most cost-effective two-seat electric aircraft”.

A statement this week from the two companies said the Dakota would be “first in a series of kit aircraft” made by CKD incorporating Kite Magnetics’ KM-60 electric engine. 

The aircraft is described by CKD as a “high-wing monoplane… designed for side-by-side seating for two, featuring conventional landing gear and powered by a single engine.”

“…[T]his partnership is poised to redefine what it means to fly, making the skies more accessible, more sustainable, and more exhilarating for everyone,” said CKD Aero’s CEO, Arun Modgil.

Kite’s lightweight electric motors are based on a nanocrystalline magnetic core material it calls Aeroperm, co-invented by Professor Kiyonori Suzuki, Dr. Richard Parsons and Dr. Ziyu Li at Monash University, and reducing the energy wasted in parts of an electric motor.

According to Kite, electric engines offer quietness, safety and weight benefits compared to conventional piston engines, as well as “making each flight astonishingly affordable at approximately $4” per charge, a 75 per cent saving versus traditional fuel costs.

With a high-efficiency battery, the aircraft will offer over an hour of flight time.

“Imagine flying without the hassle of engine checks or the smell of leaded avgas. With CKD Aero and Kite Magnetics’ electric aircraft, you get a silent, smooth ride that’s gentler on your wallet and the planet,” said Parsons. 

Parsons’ company was established in 2022 and backed through $1.85 million in seeding funding. Last September it officially opened its Green Aviation Test Facility, where it held a first public demonstration of its 120 kilowatt electric engine, the KM-120.

The two companies said they will debut their collaboration at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture expo, scheduled for July 22 – 28 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Matching magnets with a market

Kite Magnetics launches light and powerful electric aircraft motor

Electric aviation startup launches new facility, product line-up for under $US 1 million

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