Airbus E-Fan electric aircraft makes U.S. debut with hybrid engine

OSHKOSH, Wis., 28 July 2016. “Hybrid electric flight represents one of the biggest industrial challenges of our time, and our goal is to create aircraft designs that generate zero emissions,” explains Andy Anderson, chief operating officer for the Corporate Technology Office at Airbus Group in San Jose, California.

Jul 28th, 2016
Airbus E-Fan electric aircraft makes U.S. debut with hybrid engine
Airbus E-Fan electric aircraft makes U.S. debut with hybrid engine

OSHKOSH, Wis., 28 July 2016. Hybrid electric flight represents one of the biggest industrial challenges of our time, and our goal is to create aircraft designs that generate zero emissions,” explains Andy Anderson, chief operating officer for the Corporate Technology Office at Airbus Group in San Jose, California.

Airbus Group officials debuted the E-Fan 1.2 experimental electric aircraft during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with a new hybrid electric/gas engine.

Airbus executives are on a mission to one day replace fossil fuels in aviation, including with the help of E-Fan technology. As part of Airbus Group’s commitment to pioneering the future of energy-efficient aviation, the company developed the E-Fan 1.1, an experimental aircraft to validate the concept of electric-powered flight. Last year, the plane made aviation history as the first electric-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel.

“With the E-Fan 1.2, we’re continuing to explore innovative approaches to more environmentally friendly technologies as possible alternatives to fossil fuels. Using insights gained from the E-Fan program, we hope to reduce – and possibly eliminate – the use of fossil fuels in aviation design within the next 30 to 40 years,” Anderson says.

The E-Fan 1.2 operates on a hybrid engine to reduce noise, vibration, and weight of the plane while increasing battery capacity and extending range. With this hybrid engine, the E-Fan has significantly reduced its noise level and operates on an electric taxiing system, officials say.

The U.S. debut provided aviation experts and enthusiasts the opportunity to view the hybrid engine for the first time publicly and learn more about Airbus Group’s vision for the future of green aviation.

Since its founding in 2011, the Airbus E-Fan project has worked to develop more energy efficient aircraft. The project is aligned with the European Commission’s “Flightpath 2050” goals, which call for significant reductions in aircraft carbon dioxide emissions and noise to ensure the sustainable development of the aviation industry. As a flying technology test bed, the Airbus E-Fan is promoting research in electric propulsion and the certification of electrical flight concepts.

Airbus Group Inc. is the U.S.-based operation of Airbus Group, a provider of aeronautics, space, and related services. Airbus Group contributes more than $16.5 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 250,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers.

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