Six weeks after its first public presentation at the international Aero-Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, an Airbus-sponsored technology demonstrator named “eGenius” performed its maiden flight. During the 20 minutes flight yesterday at Mindelheim, Bavaria, the main focus was on checking the handling qualities and proving the unique propulsion system in flight.
The “eGenius” features an electric propulsion system which pushes the limits of electric flight to a power level of 60kW. In the following flight test campaign the flight envelope will be enlarged continuously by verifying the flight performance and reliability of the electric propulsion.
Designed by the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, the “eGenius” project is supported by Airbus as main sponsor in the frame of the manufacturer’s overall engagement to reduce emissions and develop a greener aviation industry. Airbus examines the long-term potential of electricity as alternative major onboard energy source. The data collected from the practical operation with the “eGenius” aircraft will be analysed by Airbus’ Future Projects teams to further develop the technology and better understand its opportunities.
Airbus is supporting various research and technology projects in close cooperation with universities and research institutes. Besides the monitoring of the electric propulsion technology, Airbus is also developing fuel cell technology as alternative energy source, enabling an emission-free aircraft operation on ground. In addition, Airbus is strongly engaging in implementing and testing bio-fuel technology and actively supports the installation of local bio-fuel value-chains around the world.