Published on June 21st, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


New Electric Airplane Shown Off At Paris Air Show – Video

June 21st, 2013 by  

This post first appeared on Gas2


This is the new E-FAN electric airplane by EADS, which was shown off at this month’s Paris Air Show. It is light, agile, fast, has a good L/D ratio, and is just the sort of thing you’d expect Dyson to build if Dyson decided to build an airplane.

As a machine, the E-FAN makes use of advanced, lightweight composites and some pretty heavy-looking industrial design software. The electric airplane’s styling is somewhat reminiscent of a dragonfly or paper stunt plane …


… which may or may not be a good thing, visually (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all). What is a good thing is that EADS is positioning their latest electric airplane as a trainer in a bid to build lasting, positive relationships with would-be pilots who will then, it’s presumed, turn to EADS for their own private flying needs. It’s a good plan, and probably a similar model to what Piper and Cessna have going. Maybe. Honestly, I don’t know much about airplanes beyond the Panther 2 Plus we had when I was growing up, so- just watch the video, I guess?


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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • agelbert

    As a pilot with a little over 2,000 hours mostly on light twins, I can say this aircraft looks nice. As a trainer, it will have to be able to pull 4.4 positive and 2.2 negative Gs. There might be some cooling problems in the clear canopy so I hope they have adequate ventilation. I like the fact that there is electric drive on the wheel. It saves wear and tear on the main motors.
    Here’s the thing about flying. Stalling speed is a function of weight so you want to keep the weight and wing loading down. Once you’ve accomplished that, if you can climb to about 10,000 feet, you can fly just about anywhere. The energy to climb is much more than that need to fly level. SO, if you have some fairly light, energy dense batteries, you can give the motors enough power in addition to the solar cells on the wings to get to altitude and then recharge the batteries. As long as you DON”T need the batteries for cruising flight, this baby could be a winner.
    That said, I taught flying for a couple of years and a TRAINER aircraft has to take some pretty hard landings as well as a lot of different power settings and maneuvers involving climbs and descents as part of the average lesson. So this plane needs, perhaps, a slightly stronger landing gear as well as the ability to climb a thousand feet or so WITHOUT battery power. Finally, trainers must fly at night as well so, for those lessons, the flights probable will be limited to an hour or so for safety’s sake.
    I wish them well. We need to get rid of the ICE EVERYWHERE, not just in cars, ships, factories and power plants.

    • vetxcl

      It’s an air SHOW, not your opportunity to relate ALL of what you think is relative to the subject. So, there is NO need for an air SHOW plane to fly at night.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Vetxcl, so you know, you’re coming across as a little uncouth. I found Agelbert’s thoughts on the topic interesting and as the article mentions it is not a show plane or a stunt plane but intended for use as a trainer.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Thank you for your thoughts on this, Agelbert.

      • agelbert

        You are welcome.

  • Bob_Wallace

    According to the company, one hour flight time. Or thirty minutes doing aerobatics.

    Interesting to see these sorts of planes being developed. This is one place where increased battery capacity will take things from “interesting” to practical.

    • vetxcl

      Not necessarily. Charging time IS a MORE significant factor – particularly when it CAN be capable of continuously charging – even at night.

      Bet you thought you came up with a fatal flaw, didn’t you?

      • Bob_Wallace

        What is your problem? Reading with your eyes shut?

  • Glenn

    That’s It? Really??? I have been a “fan” of innovative, new, non petroleum fuel projects for years, but my support is waning because alternate energy “breakthroughs” have disappointed me again and again. Tesla, Leaf, volt, solar panels that are “affordable”. Stirling Solar electric generators, EEstore batteries. and the list goes on and on. It seems that they are all hype and lies. Show me the results and stop feeding the gullible public the bull.

  • Joe

    So . . . it taxis . . .

    I thought that airplanes could fly.

    • Flight testing requires very strict protocols and it has to taxi before it flies – like it has to walk before it runs.

      This is a really sleek looking airplane. I’ll bet it is very quiet while underway.

    • vetxcl

      Oh, you ‘thought’. Ha!

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