e-Fan – the Airbus electric plane concept
Electric bikes, electric cars. But not a plane, surely?
Well, aviation giant Airbus thought the idea had wings. It actually got the project off the ground as long ago as 2014 with a prototype called e-Fan. It was designed to be an ultra-quiet, environmentally-friendly trainer aircraft with zero emissions and sounded like a great idea.
A plane was built and it flew. Initials trials were promising, but the electric engine technology was not scaleable to makes bigger aircraft, so it was simply not viable as a flying platform.
Aviation is a very competitive industry and the designs they come up with have to be grounded on a sound, commerce footing as they’re often part of a strategy often lasting 20 years or more. It seems that despite its promise, eFan was not to be and the innovative project was shuttered in 2017.
There was some serious technology at work here. Maybe a taste of the future. Such a pity it never took off commercially. Go take a look at this video of E-Fan, the electric plane project by Airbus Group Innovations.
Maybe along with flying cars, we’ll see it take off again one day…