Airbus E-Fan To Be Built In Pau, France

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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. The demonstration aircraft is flying and the E-Fan has exceeded 78 test flights to date, logging more than 38 flight hours. The first production E-Fan 2.0 is slated to go into service at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

The assembly site will be near the home of Daher-Socata, which will design and certify the E-Fan, and there’s a suitable runway and good weather there, Airbus said. “We have reached the next milestone in our Airbus Group E-Aircraft roadmap. The industrialization of our E-Fan aircraft will help us to advance electric flight and also to gain experience to scale up the technology,” said Jean Botti, Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer. “With this new assembly line, Airbus Group is preparing for the future and creating new jobs and business in the Aquitaine region.”