B-Roll of the E-Fan Electric Airplane Flying. Provided for press use by Airbus from official press source. If you think this is cool, Airbus is working on a 90-seat regional based on the electric technology. More here and here
Airbus Group is developing an electric aircraft with Aero Composite Saintonge. The aircraft uses on-board lithium batteries to power the two electric engines and can carry two passengers. A test flight was conducted in April 2014 at Mérignac Airport, France, landing in front of a large audience, the French Minister of Industry Arnaud Montebourg being one of them. At the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced that the E-Fan 2.0 will go into production by 2017 with a side-by-side seating layout. Airbus has stated that there are plans for development of a commercial regional aircraft in the near future. The E-Fan is an all-electric two-seat twin-engined low-wing monoplane of composite structure. It has a T-tail and a retractable tandem landing gear with outrigger wheels. The two engines are mounted either side of the rear fuselage. Two production variants are planned, a two-seater E-Fan 2.0 for use as a trainer, and the E-Fan 4.0 four-seater. To increase the duration the E-Fan 4.0 will have a hybrid-electric system that will have a small engine to charge the battery, this will increase duration from nearly an hour to 3.5 hours. The E-fan is made of an all-composite construction propelled by two ducted, variable pitch fans spun by two electric motors totaling 60 kW of power. Ducting increases thrust while reducing noise, and having the fans mounted centrally provides better control. The motors moving the fans are powered by a series of 250 Volt lithium-ion polymer batteries made by South Korean company Kokam. The batteries are mounted in the inboard section of the wings and have enough power for one hour, and take one hour to recharge; an onboard backup battery is available to make an emergency landing if power runs out while airborne. The E-fan’s undercarriage consists of two retractable fore and aft wheels, with another two under the wings. They are powered by a 6 kW electric motor that not only taxis the plane, but is capable of accelerating it to 60 km/h (37 mph; 32 kn) for take offs; having the take off performed by the undercarriage relieves some of the burden from the flight motors.