The Airbus E-Fan Electric Aircraft Project by Owen Zupp

 

 

Airbus E-Fan 

  (E-Fan Image: Airbus)

Aviation took another sizeable step forward this week. The Airbus Group announced that their small two-seat concept aircraft which had first caused a stir at the Paris Air Show in 2013 was set to become the focal point of a new factory and assembly line in the south-west of France. Why is this aeroplane so special? Because it is electric.

The Airbus E-Fan project is set to deliver an aircraft that is both highly efficient and environmentally friendly. Quieter, with lower emissions and improved operational efficiencies, the aircraft is set to shake up the flight training industry. While the initial aircraft featured tandem seating, the E-Fan 2.0 which, is planned to enter service in 2018, will be configured with side-by-side seating for student and flight instructor.

 

Airbus E-Fan 

 (E-Fan Image: Airbus)

To be produced under the Airbus subsidiary, ‘Voltair SAS’, the E-Fan 2.0 and the larger E-Fan 4.0 will feature a sleek design and a 21st century heart. Its large ducted fans will reduce noise levels and the dangers associated with spinning propellers on the tarmac. The two electric motors each drive an aft-mounted ducted fan with variable pitch. The electrical energy is provided by a series of 250 Volt lithium-ion polymer batteries which are located in the wings where conventional aircraft have previously held their fuel tanks. At this stage the batteries provide around 45 minutes endurance but this is increased when higher energy-density batteries are used.

It is early days, but the time-frame of 2017-18 is just around the corner and with a new factory dedicated to the E-Fan project, there are exciting times ahead. The Pilot’s Blog will keep you posted.

 

 


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