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Center Innovation Fund: LaRC CIF

LEAPTech Distributed Electric Propulsion

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

LEAPTech
The "Semi-Tandem Electric Distributed Wing Zip Aviation Advanced Concept Project" was renamed to LEAPTech DEP to better align with the content of the work. This project aims to develop a unique distributed electric propulsion approach that provides breakthrough capability improvements across conventional take-off and landing, short takeoff and landing, and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft through tight coupling of the propulsion, aerodynamics, control, structure, and acoustics. Electric Propulsion (EP) is a rapidly developing technology frontier that opens up the degrees of freedom for aircraft design/integration. Inherently EP wants to distribute across the airframe due to it's scale-free nature, this lets the thrust be located for optimal drag. Electric motors are highly compact and reliable. The efficiency and power to weight of electric motors/controllers are relatively insensitive to scale (not true for internal combusion or Turbine engines). Distributed EP permits high degrees of coupling between the aerodynamics, propulsion, control, acoustics, and even the structure to enable large multi-disciplinary synergistic benefits. More »

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