The ''E-Fan'' was launched, and successfully completed its first public flight, last Friday 25th., April, in Bordeaux. This electrically propelled 'plane designed, notably with the aid of the Airbus group.
Jean Botti,Deputy C.E.O - Airbus Group - Technology and Innovation:
''I feel as though we've gone back 100 years in time, when Bleriot made his first flight with a normal motorised 'plane, although today, we are at the beginning of the electric age.''
The E-Fan takes off, flies and lands, using only its electric batteries for power supply. No kerosene or internal combustion engine, here, so, no CO2 emissions; this is a totally new concept, clean and also no noise. Just listen to this...
And to see this major innovation in the field of aviation, the Minister of Economy, Arnaud Montebourg, came himself. The E-Fan is just one of the 34 "New Industrial France" projects launched last September by the French government.
Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Economy, Productive and Digital Recovery:
''In thinking of this, a world's first maiden flight of a prototype electrically powered aircraft ever seen in the world, we are considering mostly about how we can sell, market, and develop it; and perhaps revolutionize aviation in the coming decade.''
With its wingspan of nine and a half metres, this experimental single-seater, built entirely of composite materials, can fly for one hour at a maximum speed of 220km ( 135 miles )/ h.
Didier Esteyne, E-Fan Test Pilot:
''There are no changes in particular; it's the piloting which needs to be adapted to the specific electrical functionality, a little like with an electric car. I believe that it's a great technological challenge, and also, at one and the same time, one of the greatest human adventures that I have ever had, and am having.''
The first production plant should open soon in Bordeaux. Two other two and four-seater models are already under development, with the objective of helping the E-Fan in the energy revolution.