Posted by John McHaleTOULOUSE, France, 20 April 2011. Officials at Airbus unveiled a new concept electric-aircraft as an example of energy-efficient technologies for commercial aviation. This technology demonstrator -- called the eGenius -- is an electrically powered two-seat airplane being used to examine the long-term potential of electricity as a major onboard energy source for air transport. Powered by a 60 kiloWatt engine, the eGenius has a maximum takeoff weight of 850 kilograms and is able to operate over a distance of 400 kilometers at cruise speeds as fast as 235 kilometers per hour. Its wingspan is 16.86 meters, and the wide fuselage design accommodates the two seats in a side-by-side arrangement.The eGenius was developed by the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart in Germany, and data collected from its practical operation will be analyzed by Airbus' Future Projects teams for further development of this concept, as well as to better understand the opportunities it presents. "Airbus is carefully studying all technologies available today for future alternative aviation energy sources," says Christopher Emerson, Airbus senior vice president product strategy and market forecast. "By sponsoring experimental projects like the eGenius, we are gathering valuable experience and data for our further analyses and research activities in this area." The eGenius demonstrator marks yet another step for Airbus' alternative fuels roadmap, which is working towards making such energy sources a reality for aviation use. In addition to the monitoring of electric propulsion technology, Airbus is developing fuel cell technology that will enable emission-free aircraft operations on the ground. Airbus also is actively engaged in the implementation and testing of sustainable biofuels, and strongly supports the installation of local biofuel value-chains around the world.