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Flight of the E-Fan

Electric fanjet (if that’s the correct term) developed by Airbus. Article and video here, French only (and you may have to click through a couple of ads).

The original fanjet is my hangar neighbor:

The best fuel-to-noise converter there is.

Ouch! A 500kg electrical aircraft whose hourly operating cost is 50% that of a jet! How did they manage that?

EGCW

than a jet? Journobabble… then conventional airplanes they wanted to say surely. Otherwise they can bury the project right now.

Unless they want to make it a military trainer unarchievable for GA, which, seeing that Socata is involved, is unlikely.

Interesting project. Airbus/Daher/Socata certainly have the cash and the weight in the Industry to pull something like that off. Let’s see what they do with it and with what technology. Pure electric will be really worth something in the training market, hybrid may well be another story.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 26 Apr 05:23
LSZH, Switzerland

Airbus killed the e-Fan project: http://www.flyingmag.com/airbus-says-it-wont-build-hybrid-electric-four-seater?src=SOC&dom=fb

Actually I am relieved. It was such a weird and nonsensical project. Airbus to build a GA aircraft? Lose tons of money for what exactly?

The idea of a hybrid aircraft doesn’t make much sense to me. The loads are too consistent and the penalty for extra weight much greater than for road vehicles.

However the other day I read somewhere that a PT-6 will burn 26GPH at idle. That made me wonder whether there is actually a case for jets / turboprops having electric propulsion for ground operations. I’d guess moving something like a TBM700 around an airfield would take on the order 5-10hp at typical taxi speeds. Assuming large turbo-fan engines burn a proportionally large amount at idle then it would probably make even more sense on a 777 sized aircraft, they could even use the APU as a power source and could probably be moved quite happily with a few hundred horsepower worth of electric motors.

LondonMike wrote:

Assuming large turbo-fan engines burn a proportionally large amount at idle then it would probably make even more sense on a 777 sized aircraft, they could even use the APU as a power source and could probably be moved quite happily with a few hundred horsepower worth of electric motors.

I had opportunity to look into this once, and IIRC Airbus has an existing patent on a wheel mounted motor generator concept that would collect energy on landing for subsequent use on the next taxi.

achimha wrote:

Airbus to build a GA aircraft? Lose tons of money for what exactly?

Airbus already builds GA aircraft, but they are helicopters. I guess the German built versions (e.g. Airbus H135) are descended from Bölkow products, which were preceded by Bölkow fixed wing aircraft. So one could say that Airbus gave up fixed wing light GA production in 1972. They do still provide the money losing ‘support’ required to maintain the existing TC and fleet.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 27 Jul 17:37

Silvaire wrote:

I had opportunity to look into this once, and IIRC Airbus has an existing patent on a wheel mounted motor generator concept that would collect energy on landing for subsequent use on the next taxi.

That could have avoided a somewhat embarrassing situation such as this

In any case, AB seem to have enough problems with the ongoing A400M saga and the not-really-selling A380. Guess they didn’t need yet another source of headache, although the sums involved would probably have been trivial relative to these two.

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