The company smartflyer AG from Grenchen in the canton of Solothurn, which was originally founded in 2016, has been awarded the InnoPrix by Baloise Bank SoBa, as revealed in a press release issued by the Baloise Group. The prize, which comes with a check for 25,000 Swiss francs for the winning company, recognizes innovative products and services in the economic area of Solothurn.
smartflyer impressed with its SFX1 aircraft, which is still in the development phase. The four-seater airplane is designed to fly with a hybrid-electric drive system. Owing to what is known as a “range extender”, the airplane should be able to make flights of up to 750 kilometers. A combustion engine is designed to power the generators and store the energy produced in the batteries. The DC power is then converted into AC by way of an integrated inverter, thereby controlling the electric motor. The main drive system is composed of the battery, alternating motor and electric motor components.
The propeller of the SFX1 is mounted on the vertical stabilizer, meaning that the aircraft is up to 30 percent more efficient than conventional airplanes, according to information from the company itself. Moreover, it is up to 60 percent quieter and cuts operating costs by 33 percent. Last but not least, the CO2 emissions of the SFX1 are 50 percent lower.
According to the press release, the maiden flight of the SFX1 is planned for 2023. From 2028 onwards the the company is already intending to manufacture up to ten airplanes per year at its headquarters in Grenchen.