Daher-Socata To Develop Airbus E-Fan

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Daher-Socata will design and certify Airbus Group's electric E-Fan aircraft with plans to develop the existing prototype into an all-electric series of production aircraft, the companies announced Thursday. Airbus subsidiary VoltAir, which developed the prototype, will be the project manager as Daher-Socata designs and tests the aircraft, including its electric powerplant and batteries. Airbus announced the first test flight of its prototype in April. The E-Fan 2.0 is a two-seat airplane with two ducted-fan propellers, each driven by a battery-powered motor. It will be designed and marketed for pilot training, with larger aircraft to be produced in the future. 

"This selection by Airbus Group demonstrates our innovation capabilities and know-how," said Stéphane Mayer, president & CEO of the aerospace and defense activities at Daher. "This is a promising program, not only for the aviation sector but for all the high-tech industries that will increasingly call for electric energy management." Daher-Socata also will conduct the E-Fan's flight testing for European certification and develop operational rules for ab-initio flight training with France's civil aviation authority. The contract with Airbus "is aligned with the development of the engineering services business we launched in 2013, offering our skills and expertise of an aerostructure manufacturer and designer in the field of product engineering to the aviation industry," said Jacques Lordon, Daher-Socata vice president of engineering development.