Daher-Socata, the producer of the popular single-engine turboprop Socata TBM 700, is set to participate in the design and certification of E-Fan 2.0, which is slated to enter service in late 2017 with a two-seat version. E-Fan 2.0, which weighs only 500kg, is the world’s first all-electric series production aircraft.
“There are several electric planes flying today, but they are almost all based on already existing platforms or on the re-engineering of existing aircraft,” said Emmanuel Joubert, head of the propulsion system team at Airbus Group Innovations.
“For E-Fan, we started from scratch to build a completely new electric aircraft. It is fully dedicated to electrical propulsion, in terms of aerodynamics, integration and safety.” The collaboration is the result of an 18-month study by Airbus and was announced a few months after Daher-Socata launched the TBM 900 – the world’s fastest certified pressurised single-engined turboprop.
Airbus is not the only manufacturer to venture into a new area in powering aircraft. Solar Impulse, a long-range solar-powered aircraft, is set to embark on its first-ever round-the-world flight powered solely by sunlight. The aircraft is scheduled to take off in Abu Dhabi on 1 March and return in late July or early August after circumnavigating the globe.