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EADS Demonstrates Hybrid Propulsion Technology

EADS is demonstrating here at Le Bourget a number of electric- and hybrid-propulsion technologies developed under its commitment to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions. In cooperation with Royan Aero Composites, EADS has developed and built the E-Fan fully electric general-aviation training aircraft and, separately, has engineered with Diamond Aircraft and Siemens the Diamond Aircraft DA36 E-Star 2 hybrid-electric motor-glider. EADS also cooperated with Rolls-Royce on the future distributed-propulsion system concept, and all three projects are dubbed “E-aircraft.”

Such developments are part of EADS’s research to support environmental-protection goals in the European Commission Flightpath 2050 report. Compared with environmental standards set in 2000, that plan aims to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by 75 percent NOx by 90 percent, and noise by 65 percent.

EADS Innovation Works, the group’s research and technology network, is developing environmentally friendly propulsion technologies that it hopes will provide components for EADS’s operating divisions. The two-seat E-Fan represents a strategic aviation-research step, according to chief technical officer Jean Botti. “We are committed to exploring leading-edge technologies that will yield benefits for civil and defense products.”

The E-Fan is 6.7meters long with a 9.5-meter wingspan and sports several innovations: two 0.75-kN electric motors using energy from two wing-located battery packs; ducted fans to reduce noise and increase safety; electric power for taxiing and takeoff; and Fadec-controlled engine.

EADS Innovation Works is developing the electric and propulsion systems with Royan, which performed aerodynamic studies and is building the all-composite structure and mechanical systems. French materials-research laboratory Critt Matériaux Poitou-Charentes, academic consortium Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace/École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique and C3 Technologies produced the wing.


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