EADS E-Fan Maiden Flight (Video)

APR 15 2014 BY MARK KANE 15



Last month at the Bordeaux-Merignac Airport in France, one more electric aircraft had it’s maiden flight.

This time it was EADS E-Fan, which debuted 10 months ago.

This two-seat training aircraft, which can be used to tow gliders and for aerobatics, was designed by EADS and Aero Composites Saintonge (ACS).

We know that with its lithium-polymer Kokam cells (19.2 kWh total), E-Fan can fly for 45-60 minutes (or one half hour during aerobatics).  Its unique fan-propulsion with two 30 kW motors enables it to fly at 100 mph (maximum is 137 mph).

There are rumors that Airbus Group will try to commercialize such electric aircrafts in the near future.

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15 Comments on "EADS E-Fan Maiden Flight (Video)"

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In some ways electric plane designers have an easier time than electric car designers. Pilots don’t expect to be able to survive texting while running a stop light, or being able to carry a sheet of plywood once every two years.

Hey! That plywood remark Warren is hitting too close to home. lol Even though driving electric is much cheaper, it has made me more conscious of the number of trips I take.

For the plane, I did not think we would see so many practical applications so soon.


Mmmmm, just the problem of trying to fit a 2,000 lb battery in a 1,500 lb plane.

The article states 19.2 kWh lithium-polymer Kokam so probably closer to 500 lbs. Give it five years and that number only comes down too. Given your point, fuel density is always an issue here, but it looks like that plane is ready to tow a glider though.

Make that 130 kg: http://insideevs.com/eads-debuts-electric-e-fan-airplane-at-2013-paris-air-show-wvideo/
But it seems they were not able to upgrade to state-of-the-art energy densities yet. 30 kWh should be easily doable with that mass as of today.

Yup. Think Zero S motorcycle, not Nissan Leaf. The choice is simple. Build a battery that will fly a plane or work in a motorcycle, or build one that will withstand getting T-boned by a Suburban.

The only thing that amaze me is the lack of test of a real powerfull electrofan. I would really like to test a GE90 fan that would be powered by a motor to see a true propulsion force able to move a 777. That would be really cool. A true moon shot thinking like i like them and as Teller would probably like them too.

Is there an X Prize for the first trans Atlantic flight of an electric plane with a human pilot? If not, why not?

Planes really only need big power to get up to cruising: comparatively, actually cruising and landing take much less power. That suggests that planes would be good candidates for a hybrid design, with a small generator keeping the batteries able to put out full power at takeoff, and otherwise flying on battery power or with minimal generator input for long-distance travel. I’d like to know if a commercial airplane manufacturer is working on something like this (jet planes pollute a lot, at an altitude where pollution is particularly impacting, and in the great scheme of things a little plane like this for occasional flights doesn’t really make that much of a difference).

On that aspect the number one candidate would be the V22 osprey. It needs a lot of power for vertical take-off but just a little afterwards.

Up in the sky is one place range-anxiety can surely become range heart attack!

This is one place I’d love to see that tiny BMW 2cyl putt-putt motor. That, and some amorphous thin-film solar panels covering the wing and fuselage for extended range.

I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to learning to fly a small private plane. Electric would give me confidence, though in that there are so few moving parts. The range-extender would be a MUST, though – at least an electric emergency battery pack to get me down. One other incredible invention for small planes is the Ballistic Recovery System ( BRS ) parachute for emergency situations.

Here is a $135,000 seaplane that I was considering. My logic was that:

1)It’s not super expensive like most planes.

2) It has foldable wings

3) Like seaplanes I grew up seeing on a daily basis that were built in the 1950s, it seemed safer due to usually flying over water to emergency land on.

4) Carlike controls

5) Trailerable

6) Comes with emergency ballistic parachute

Duh, it would help to add a link to the airplane! 😮

The Icon seaplane – made in USA


Could this work with electric fans?

There’s been a wave of innovation for electric power in ultralight aircraft. I met a gentleman at the premier of Revenge Of The Electric Car who planned on building an ultralight EV aircraft seaplane.

A boon to this explosion is the FAA’s new designation for Light Sport Pilot’s licensing which is so much cheaper and easier to obtain than traditional pilot’s licenses.