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Powered by a gasoline-electric propulsion system, the new prototype is a precursor to a production version now in development in France.
The Airbus E-Fan 1.2, a new version of the aerospace giant’s vision for the future of general aviation flight, will make its U.S. debut next week at EAA AirVenture, highlighting a brand-new hybrid-electric propulsion system pioneered for the project with partner Siemens.
This latest version of E-Fan features a gasoline engine that greatly extends the the E-Fan’s range by charging the batteries in flight, which in turn power Siemens electric motors driving two ducted fans.
Airbus has announced plans to introduce a hybrid-electric E-Fan production model with four seats and around four hours flight endurance before the decade is out.
The company has enlisted Daher, maker of the TBM line of turboprop singles, and Germany’s Siemens to help create the product, which Airbus eventually expects to lead to the introduction of hybrid-electric airliners.
The E-Fan 1.2 prototype will be on display at Oshkosh July 24-28 at the Airbus Group exhibit.