The first e-flight-expo will take off April 2-5 at AERO Friedrichshafen in Germany.
The expo will showcase the newest engineering developments in modern, environmentally-friendly aviation propulsion systems, according to organizers, who explain the “e” stands for electrical, ecological and evolutionary.
Expected to fly at the event – weather permitting, of course – is an ultralight by French company Helite, which will be exclusively propelled by hydrogen energy without supplementary energy supplied by batteries.
Also expected to be presented at the expo are electrical propulsion systems for small aircraft, paragliders and hang-gliders, new biofuels and high-performance batteries, as well as a solar-powered glider: American Eric Raymond’s Sunseeker (pictured), which has already completed more than 500 flying hours and has crossed the United States in 21 stages.
The Helite ultralight will not be the only fuel cell aircraft at AERO. Two other aviation projects from Germany and Italy will demonstrate the feasibility of hydrogen propulsion.
The University of Stuttgart will present its Hydrogenius project, a two-seater ultralight power glider made of fiber-strengthened synthetic material. It is based on a series production aircraft made by Slovakian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, and has a wing span of 18 meters. The aircraft is equipped with a 60 kW hydrogen propulsion system located in the tail unit.
Meanwhile, the Technical University of Turin will present its SkySparks fuel cell project, whose first flight is also scheduled for 2009.
“As a base model, we have selected a high-performance ultralight aircraft called the Pioneer made by Italian manufacturer Alpi Aviation,” says Project Director Paolo Maggiore. Its hydrogen propulsion system, which will be presented at AERO, produces 62 kW and weighs 30 kg.