Page 21 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Future Skies 2024
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 Cosmic Aerospace)
The Cosmic team spent much of 2023 testing the aerodynamics of its wing section. The slightly thicker, black-edged section of the wing is where the distributed electric propulsion system has been integrated.
So what has Cosmic done differently to any other electric aircraft hopefuls? Chahine says the team looked at the problem and the market first, starting the aircraft design from a clean sheet. “We went into the design process with the question of whether we could build a sustainable aircraft that can deliver a meaningful near-term impact while also being economically viable. In terms of operating economics and sustainability, electric aircraft are unbeatable compared to other technologies out there. However, to cover a meaningful market, we need more range and we realised that battery improvements alone weren’t going to get us there fast enough.”
They also realised that one of the key drivers for achieving meaningful distances was energy efficiency. “It is generally quite intuitive. If you can reduce the aircraft’s energy consumption per kilometre travelled, you can fly longer distances with today’s batteries. However, the design details of how to build an aircraft that’s able to attain the high efficiencies needed are a little bit more intricate.”
If you see a rendering of Cosmic’s aircraft you could be forgiven for thinking it had no propulsion system. The energy efficiency is partly a result of the electric propulsion system itself, but it is mostly enabled by how the system is integrated into the airframe. Skylark has an abnormally long wingspan for a passenger aircraft of its size similar to a glider, and those are designed with efficiency at the core. If you look closely the distributed electric propulsion system has been integrated into the wing to provide optimum aerodynamic efficiency.

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