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Mon, Jun 15, 2015

AeroSports Update: Airbus Shows Electric Flight At Paris

At The Paris Airshow The Thunder Of Jets Is The Norm, But Airbus Showed Up With The Whisper Of Their E-Fan 2.0

At the Paris Airshow Airbus displayed and flew its latest iteration of their E-Fan concept aircraft that they are calling the E-Fan 2.0. This aircraft appears to be closer to what might be the final configuration for their 2-place trainer version of the twin-engine electric powered light aircraft.

While Airbus talks about the possibility of an electric powered commuter style airliner 30 or 40 years down the road, we in the recreational side of aviation are really more interested in their light-weight E-Fan aircraft. Based on reports, Airbus will be starting off with a 2-place version of the E-Fan and eventually move into a 4-place variation in about 2019.

Initial reports indicate that the E-Fan 2.0 will be able to cruise at about 130 miles per hour and have an endurance of about an hour and a half. However, as Airbus is developing the prototype it is also working with other companies to improve the capabilities of the batteries.

Airbus is serious enough about the E-Fan project that it is developing a final assembly facility adjacent to the Pau Pyrénées Airport in Southwestern France. The facility will have a futuristic shape, and will validate advanced technologies for aircraft build-up that could be applied within the Airbus Group. Based on Airbus’s description of the plant facility, it will use futuristic technology to produce the small electric airplane.

While it seems odd that the builder of mega-giant airliners would be developing what amounts to a sport plane, it is also obvious that Airbus is not just building an airplane; they are justifying the technology that goes with it. It’s going to be fun to see how all this turns out.

(Image provided from the Airbus website)

FMI: www.airbusgroup.com

 


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