Electric Eco-Flyer Displays In Bristol

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Airbus engineers made a small splash this week at the Venturefest business expo held in Bristol, England, with a display of their side project — the little-known two-seat electric Bristol Eco-Flyer. It could be called a single-engine cousin of the twin E-Fan, which Airbus has been showing around the world as it works towardflight certification in France. As reported in SouthWest Business, “graduates and apprentices” of the Airbus plant in Filton near Bristol are leading the Eco-Flyer project, which they kicked off this year as part of Bristol’s European Green Capital program. The team’s goal is to develop an aircraft to demonstrate environmentally friendly technology at work in aviation.

The Eco-Flyer is a two-seat electric airplane powered by lithium polymer batteries that offer more than one hour of endurance. The aircraft will have a wingspan of 60 feet and a maximum takeoff weight of about 1653 pounds. 3-D printing produced some of the airplane’s components, and the engineers are looking at additional ways to save weight, according to the SouthWest Business report. Engineering and Technology Magazine called the little airplane “the talk of the town,” another example of the Bristol/Bath region attracting high-tech innovation.

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