OSHKOSH – Airbus showcased its ideas for the future of electric aviation at AirVenture 2016 with the U.S. debut of the Airbus E-Fan 1.2, an experimental electric aircraft recently updated with a new hybrid electric/gas engine.
The Airbus E-Fan was on static display at the Airbus Group tent in Aviation Gateway Park.
“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,” said Andy Anderson, chief operating officer for the Corporate Technology Office at Airbus Group. “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.”
The company’s E-Fan 1.1 made aviation history last year as the first electric-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel. The E-Fan 1.1 demonstrator was also the 2014 recipient of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation’s Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA) award and trophy, which annually recognizes the world’s best personal aircraft designs and engineers.
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 its range, company officials note.