CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

Electric power takes centre stage at AERO

PUBLISHED: 10:42 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 19 April 2018

'Fuel pumps' of the future PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMAN

'Fuel pumps' of the future PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMAN

Philip Whiteman TW11 9DA 2018

At the official opening of the 26th AERO at Friedrichafen – Europe’s leading GA expo and the place to see light aviation’s future unfold in front of your eye - the development of quiet and environmentally-friendly electric aircraft continues to pick up speed and dominate the headlines

Taking place over 18 to 21 April, AERO has this year drawn 630 exhibitors from 38 countries. The e-flight-expo is also taking an increasingly prominent role, a small number of electric-powered aircraft including the Pipistrel Alpha Electro already being in production. Indeed, in an ‘e-flight’ demonstration prior to the show opening to the public, several aircraft put in the air, including what is claimed to be the world premiere of a hybrid airplane.

One of the stars of the show, Magnus Aircraft’s eFusion is a new two-seater from Hungary that is propelled by a Siemens eAircraft electric motor and powered by batteries made by the German company. The hybrid drive version of this aircraft, powered by a combination of an electric motor and a Smart-ecofly diesel engine, made its first flight only days before AERO.

The weird and very wonderful E2 PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMANThe weird and very wonderful E2 PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMAN

Catching the Pilot team’s eye, one of the most unusual among many unusual aircraft at Friedrichshafen was the huge-span, multi-engined (and also rather elegant) Lange Research E2. Based on a sailplane, the E2 sports no fewer than six electric motors, pod-mounted above the wing in a fashion that reminds one of another German design, the fabulous and long-lost DoX flying boat.

Power comes not from batteries but a fuel cell. The aircraft, used for research or surveillance purposes, can fly manned or unmanned and is intended to stay airborne for up to forty hours, all while staying (it is claimed) CO2 neutral. It is expected to take its maiden flight in summer.

Siemens light aircraft propulsion unit - batteries not included PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMANSiemens light aircraft propulsion unit - batteries not included PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMAN

Closer to the existing world of training aircraft, Piper Aircraft announced on the first day of AERO that they have selected Continental’s new CD-170 diesel, fuelled with Jet-A, to power the Piper PA-44 Seminole.

“Our experience with the Archer DX convinced us and our customers that we could deliver the best twin-engine training platform using the Continental Jet-A engine. We are extremely happy with the collaboration with Continental Motors. As the undisputed leader of Jet-A engines in general aviation they understand perfectly the pilot training market and our own needs,” said Simon Caldecott, CEO of Piper Aircraft.

Taking off for a virtual flight in the popular sim area PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMANTaking off for a virtual flight in the popular sim area PHOTO: PHILIP WHITEMAN

One new attraction at this year’s AERO is the Flight Simulator Area for professional pilot training. It was nice to see a British presence, in the form of the Popham-based C42 Sim, now being marketed by aircraft manufacturer Comco Ikarus.

Further Pilotweb updates to follow - a full report of the event will appear in the June issue of Pilot magazine.

Follow Pilot Mag on Facebook and Twitter for other updates from the show

More from News

Friday, October 12, 2018

Having received the final documents for its proposed application for a Judicial Review of the CAA decision on the TAG ACP from its Airspace Team on 8 October, the Lasham Gliding Society’s committee has approved filing of the society’s application with the Court

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Edinburgh-based Trig Avionics Limited has announced plans to move its regulatory HQ to the Netherlands as part of its planned European expansion

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Take yourself back to the 2018 STIHL National Championship Air Races at Reno with these highlights of the six Gold Races

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bristol Groundschool have announced a solution for all students currently or about to start taking their European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) professional pilot theory exams with the UK Civil Aviation Authority that safeguards against a Brexit ‘no deal’ next March

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

In a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), lawmakers from the UK APPG on General Aviation and the Congressional General Aviation Caucus, have called for a bilateral agreement to provide recognition and acknowledgement for new medical standards

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

A high-ranking FAA source has confirmed that the FAA plans to almost triple the maximum weight for most light sport aircraft to 3600 pounds in rulemaking that will be introduced in January

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

Here’s what’s happening across Great Britain for all of you aviation lovers this October

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

World renowned aerobatic display team, The Blades, has donated over £4,000 to Aerobility, a charity which gives disabled people the opportunity to fly

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

This year’s Cadet Naval Aviation Courses ended with the final eight students attending RNAS Yeovilton and 727 Naval Air Squadron for the Advanced Flying Course and a chance to gain their Gold Wings

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Brooklands Museum, birthplace of British motorsport and aviation was the perfect setting to gather the largest collection of pedal planes the world has ever seen

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine