Monday, April 28, 2014

EADS E-Fan and E-Thrust Battery-powered plane takes to the skies - Video

We’ve already got electric cars and bikes, but they could soon be joined by aircraft if a bold new concept from Airbus gets off the ground.

The aircraft manufacturer has unveiled its ideas at an E-Aircraft Day including previews of E-Fan and E-Thrust planes that are powered by batteries.

A highlight was the first public flight of the electric E-Fan experimental aircraft pictured here.

The impressive creation is a training plane that comes packed with innovative technology and the maiden voyage represents a significant step forward in the development of electric aircraft.

Airbus is currently putting together plans that will see a production facility built close to Bordeaux.

Adding to the expansion is a plan to produce a four-seater version E-Fan 4.0, which will be a training and general aviation aircraft and could feature a combustion engine within the fuselage to provide an extended range or endurance.

The experimental E-Fan plane will be used as a test bed for Airbus and its move towards electric and hybrid engines in the future.

It was first shown off at the 2013 Paris Airshow and features a cutting-edge design that makes uses of composite materials, which means less weight and better durability.

The more motors allow the plane to remain nimble and easy to maneuver, making it an ideal craft for pilot training.

Although the aircraft is still in development, its lithium-ion polymer batteries can keep the plane in the air for around 30 minutes.

As Airbus increases development of both the plane and the batteries it hopes to take that flying time up to around an hour. Airbus bosses reckon that the E-Fan could be turned into a production model by 2017.

“The E-Fan project and Airbus Group’s commitment to the field of electric and hybrid research show our vision of future technological developments."

"It will not only lead to a further reduction in aircraft emissions and noise to support our environmental goals but will also lead to more economic and efficient aircraft technology in the long run."

"Our focus is to develop innovations that will help define what tomorrow’s aerospace industry will look like,” said Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer Jean Botti.

1 comment:

  1. its still a prototype version 2.0 E-Fan while development of the production version is expected to begin in June in a production facility near Bordeaux Airport ... The aircraft is expected to enter into service by 2017. Airbus plans to introduce a new four-seat E-Fan 4.0 version aircraft in the next two years.