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Aircraft Autonomous Flight: Sooner Than You Think? »

Is truly autonomous flight for aircraft—manned or not—lurking just around the corner? It depends on how you define around the corner, but some people in the autonomous flight field think it could be a reliability within a decade and electric propulsion will both hurry it along and play a major role in its development. More

Electric Aircraft Reliability: Not So Simple »

With few moving parts compared to an aircraft piston engine, electric motors are thought to be far more reliable. But when the systems that control them are factored in, the reliability picture is far less rosy, according to Mike Ricci, who says electric propulsion in general has some distance to cover before it will be reliable enough to impress regulators approving electrics for commercial service. More

Siemens: Hybrid Electric Airliners by 2035 »

Fresh after its announcement of a new, aviation-specific electric motor, Siemens AG has mapped out a developmental path that it hopes will result in practical regional hybrid electric airliners by 2035. At the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California this week, Siemens' Frank Anton said the company will invest heavily in hybrid drive systems that it believes will improve overall transportation efficiency by as much as 25 percent. More

Electric Aircraft Symposium Kicks Off With Record Numbers »

More than 160 electric aircraft industry executives, manufacturers and researchers convened the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California on Friday. The symposium is organized by the CAFE Foundation, which was formed in 1981 to study aircraft efficiency. CAFE Foundation president Brien Seeley told AVweb that EAS will have record attendance this year. More

Columbine II To Be Restored Under New Owners »

Columbine II, the first presidential Air Force One, will be under new ownership this summer as a restoration process gets under way in Arizona. Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Virginia completed its due diligence this week and decided to proceed with the purchase of the 1948 Lockheed C-121A Constellation used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. More

Airbus Sees U.S. Market for Four-Place Electric Airplane »

With a production site for its E-Fan 2.0 electric trainer selected in France, Airbus is bullish enough on e-flight to project a four-place electric hybrid before 2020. At the Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California on Friday, the company's head of development and strategy, Ken McKenzie, said Airbus isn't exactly going after Cirrus and Cessna for the personal aircraft market, but a four-place hybrid aircraft called the E-fan 4.0 will surely appeal to buyers who want aircraft for personal transportation. More

Sonex, Navmar To Produce UAVs »

Sonex Aircraft will collaborate with Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation to develop an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle based on its Xenos line of motor gliders. Under the agreement, Oshkosh-based Sonex will produce the aircraft, to be called Teros, and ship them to NASC in Pennsylvania for UAV outfitting. The first prototype Teros is slated for delivery in June. The UAVs will be produced for Department of Defense customers, Sonex said. More

Blue Origin Launches Test Spacecraft »

Blue Origin launched its experimental spacecraft this week from Texas, marking the start of the company's unmanned test flights with plans to develop a space tourism vehicle. The New Shepard craft launched Wednesday from Blue Origin's test site, reached an altitude of 58 miles, then separated from its rocket and deployed a parachute for landing, Reuters reported. More

New This Week »

AVweb's search of aviation news around the world found an aircraft restoration competition, news from the upcoming Air Race Classic, a partnership between Jet Logistics and Medflight One, and the Aero Club of New England's annual award announcement. More

Airbus E-Fan To Be Built In Pau, France »

Airbus' electric airplane, the E-Fan, will be produced in Pau in southwest France, the company said Thursday. Airbus is purchasing a site there and plans to begin building a final assembly line in mid-2016. The E-Fan, developed by Airbus subsidiary VoltAir, is a two-seat trainer with two propellers and two battery-powered motors. More