The electric Dragonfly, the emission-free lightweight aircraft in the process of becoming part of the Aeronautical & Precision Engineering programme at Inholland Delft University of Applied Sciences has been based at Teuge Airport (Gelderland) for two weeks to carry out ‘moving’ tests. As a result, during the annual Teuge AirFair, several hundred flight enthusiasts and professionals witnessed the first public taxi test. A milestone, because project Dragonfly is entering an important next test phase.
Since 2019, Inholland Delft students, lecturers and researchers have been working intensively with the aviation industry to convert an existing aircraft into a fully electric and emission-free variant, the electric Dragonfly. The project is led by Arnold Koetje, programme manager for sustainable aviation at Inholland, and Mark Ommert, engineering manager and former student of Aviation Technology.
“This is an applied research project, in which students get to work on designing, building, and testing themselves,” says Mark Ommert. “This is how you learn to deal with design challenges that you only encounter in practice. What's great about this is that we use technology from Dutch parties - the engine comes from Saluqi Motors and the batteries from ELEO Technologies. We learn a lot from this, but at the same time it offers these companies the opportunity to experiment and apply their theoretical knowledge.”
Learning through practice
Stefan Meijer has been involved in the project since his third year of study in Aeronautical & Precision Engineering. He recently graduated and became a permanent member of the team. “The Dragonfly contains my design choices, which I have been testing over the past two weeks. I first studied secondary vocational aeronautical engineering in Hoofddorp and it was precisely these practical skills that I was able to apply here. It's so great when something you come up with really works! We are taking the first steps towards a brighter future here and I think it is fantastic to be part of that.”