Product announcement: Antares.RED.3 – new battery system enables 5,600 meters of climbing height
Experience maximum performance, dynamics, and safety in the air and on the ground: The new Antares.RED.3 battery system will be available from winter 2021/22 and shifts horizons in electric aircraft propulsion beyond all expectations. The third battery generation from Lange Aviation for the electric propulsion of Antares gliders offers up to 60% more energy than the predecessor system. It brings the Antares 21E safely, powerfully, quietly, and emission-free to a climbing altitude of 5,600 meters, including self-start.
Antares.RED in the third generation once again combines highly optimized batteries built into the wings in a protected manner, further developed control electronics and sophisticated power management for electric propulsion in aircraft. Lange Aviation's battery system symbolizes "Reliable Electric Design"; pioneering spirit to fly higher and thus further than ever before with a self-launching electric glider. Launch autonomously, be more independent, charge faster - as conveniently as with the most modern electric cars.
60% more energy ensures climbing heights of up to 5,600 meters
Antares is following its tradition as the world's first mass-produced glider with electric propulsion and is once again setting even higher standards in performance and safety with RED.3 batteries and a new charger. In doing so, the system is thus breaking records again.
Antares.RED.3 is available in two variants: S-tandard and L-arge. In the L variant, the number of individual cells per battery block has been increased, enabling a gain of 60% compared to the predecessor system. With RED.3, an Antares 21E reaches a purely electric climbing height including self-start of 5,600 m, the range is around 380 km. This means that the high-performance aircraft clearly exceeds its previous best performances.
The new propulsion battery is a technically sophisticated combination of more than one thousand compact Li-Ion 21700 cells integrated into the wings. The cells interact with an extensive set of measuring sensors, control electronics and the intelligent Antares charger.
Components from the automotive industry
Technical progress in the development of battery technology has gained speed across industries thanks to the e-mobility boom. The engineers at Lange Aviation use this advantage and incorporate innovations from the automotive industry into aircraft design in a timely and sustainable manner. This is how they create "Zero Emission High Performance Aircraft Technology".
The improvement of the performance of electric gliders in powered flight is the result of the increasing gravimetric energy density of battery cells on the one hand, and the unhindered extraction of power by the electric motor on the other hand.
Performance and value of Antares aircraft increases with age
The battery cell format 21700 is considered to be trendsetting and is being intensively developed by the industry. This future-proof investment ensures that Antares motor gliders with Antares.RED battery systems will have even more power reserves in the coming generations. With their almost wear-free electric drive, Antares motor gliders achieve added value and optimal resale values by upgrading their battery system.
Climbing higher thanks to more energy per battery: Antares.RED.3 is based on over a thousand very compact energy cells. The underlying cell format is very popular in the automotive industry and is regarded as the new standard format for high-quality drive batteries. Due to the high demand, there is also a high degree of innovation, which makes the battery format continuously more powerful. Benchmark for innovation in Antares aircraft is the increase in gravimetric energy density (see graphic) - it describes how much energy per weight can be stored in a battery. The higher the value, the more climbing height and / or range is possible with the same battery mass and dimensions installed in Antares aircraft. From this it can be deduced that an Antares with modern RED battery systems will be able to rise higher and higher in the future. Today, the L version of Antares.RED.3 already reaches 5,600m - if you follow the development trend, heights of up to 6,700m can be achieved in 2030.
Sources: Journ. of Solid State El. Chemistry (Placke, Kloepsch), BloombergNEF - Stand: Mai 2021 - The above-mentioned heights of climbing 5,600m and 6,700m refer to Antares.RED.3 in version L.
"Protect ahead": Predictive safety concept protects thermal runaway
With its high standards of integrated electronic control, manufacturing quality and performance monitoring, the unique concept of power storage and power management in Antares aircraft sets standards. This can be seen in previously unattainable performance and, above all, in maximum safety: The most dangerous consequence of a manufacturing error in battery cells is a thermal runaway. In a thermal runaway the cell contents heat up so much that they exit the cell under strong gas production and high pressure. The mixture of cell content and gas can have temperatures of up to 1,400 °C, the housing heats up to 500 °C. Up to 14 liters of gas per cell are released. Antares.RED.3 ensures that such a thermal runaway of a cell remains almost without consequences. The pilot will be informed of this, the aircraft itself will not be damaged. Possibly defective individual cells are replaced during maintenance.
Battery cells communicate with control electronics
At Lange Aviation the networking of battery cells, control electronics and pilot information within Antares.RED runs under the motto "Human Centric Innovation"; this is about creating situational awareness, anticipating problems, and avoiding negative consequences for pilots and aircraft. In addition to damage caused by faulty cells, the Antares system also prevents hazards due to operating errors: Batteries can no longer be overcharged or charged improperly after deep discharge or at too low temperatures.
The battery systems use both “daisy chain” technology and CAN bus for communication. The communication is very capable thanks to this pairing and meets the highest safety standards. The battery balancing of the cells is also controlled via the bus systems. Highly accurate measurement of single-cell temperature is available as an option. The entire propulsion system and the third-generation battery thus fully meet the requirements for personal safety.
Delivery in winter 2021/22
The Antares.RED battery system will also be used to replace internal combustion engines in powered aircraft in the future. Therefore, the development is carried out according to the aviation standards ED-79, DO-178C and DO-254. The Design Assurance Level used is C (DAL C). The processes required by DAL C guarantee high-quality and very safe hardware and software. Delivery will start in winter 2021/22.