Sep 2, 2010

The newest Airbus?

After taking to the skies with an algae powered plane, EADS has unveiled the first electric powered, fully aerobatic four engine airplane at the Aviation Show in Paris. Based on the tiny twin engine Cri-Cri airplane developed by Michael Colomban in France during the 1970s, the latest aircraft is touted as a technology demonstrator by EADS. And unlike a big A380, the all electric Aerobatic Airplane is merely one seater but incorporates various technologies that include lightweight composite structures that compensate for the additional weight of the batteries, four brushless electric motors with counter-rotating propellers, and considerably low noise to that of thermal propulsion and high energy-density Lithium batteries. With its wingspan of just under 13 feet, plane has a flight time, as per company claims, of up to 30 minutes at 110 km/h, 15 minutes of autonomous aerobatics at speeds reaching up to 250 km/h, and a climb rate of approximately 5.3 m/sec.


Sarah said...

And the wings stayed on!

Aluwings said...

I like the pilot's comments about the smoothness and lack of noise in the cockpit. That alone would be worth the cost of pursuing electric engine development.

Aluwings said...

Oh - and btw as I was researching the Cri Cri a little I found some good information on this site.

Also more information at this site. This page explains a little about Zenair founder, Chris Heintz's involvement in earlier years. Some comments online suggest that Heinz's versions may have experienced some wing flutter issues due to parts differences.

I'm happy to know that my particular CH model (Zodiac 601 HDS) has never been known to shed a wing. Homebuilding and aerodynamics are both part of the Dark Arts sometimes.

DeAnn said...

I looked at this yesterday and even watched the flight video - the counter rotating prop seems peculiar. I just can't quite figure out why it was designed this way. I'm thinking about this. ~ regards, DeAnn

Ron Amundson said...

A friend was building a Cricket back in 83 or so on contract. I remember he had it about 90% complete, and then I lost touch with him. When I first saw those tiny motors, I was going whoa, an engine failure would be a disaster, but he told me Vmc was below stall speed.