Airbus is underscoring its continued support of eco-efficient technologies for commercial aviation with the company’s high-level sponsorship of a new electric concept aircraft – which was unveiled at this week’s AERO Friedrichshafen 2011 industry event in Germany.
This technology demonstrator – called the “eGenius” – is an electrically powered two-seat airplane currently being utilised to examine the long-term potential of electricity as a major onboard energy source for air transport.
Powered by a 60 kW engine, the “eGenius” has a maximum takeoff weight of 850 kg. and is able to operate over a distance of 400 km. at cruise speeds of up to 235 km.hr. Its wingspan is 16.86 metres, 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 analysed 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,” said 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.