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Electric Aviation Highlighted at Le Bourget
  • 01 Jul 2019 01:31 PM
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Electric Aviation Highlighted at Le Bourget

VFS members and staff attended the 53rd biennial Paris Air Show at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport, June 17–23.

VFS covered the event on social media, and posting photos and updates on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, VFS has created an album of more than 60 pictures from the event in the Vertical Flight Photo Gallery.

Sustainability was a recurring theme of the event — for more-electric helicopters and eVTOL aircraft, as well as more-electric aircraft and eCTOL aircraft.

Boeing's Aurora Passenger Air Vehicle at Le Bourget (VFS photo by Ian Frain).

Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences exhibited their Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV). Their first prototype (N83AU) flew successfully in January 2019. It thereafter made three successful flights until June 4 when it suffered a hard landing. The company exhibited their second prototype (N87AU) at the show for the first time. Read more about the PAV in the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory.

Airbus subsidiary A3 displayed the second prototype (N302VX) of their Vahana eVTOL at Le Bourget. A3 by Airbus is the Silicon Valley-based outpost of Airbus in the USA. The first Vahana prototype, Alpha One (N301VX), made its first flight at the end of January 2018 at a dedicated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) test range in Pendleton, Oregon. The aircraft on display, Alpha Two, is fitted with a cockpit, but has not yet flown. Read more about Vahana in the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory.

In addition, the major aviation engine companies announced and/or displayed hybrid-electric turbogenerator engines for eVTOL and eCTOL applications. Rolls-Royce stole headlines by announcing that they were acquiring Siemens' electric propulsion business unit.

Helicopter manufacturers are trying to reduce their environmental impact as well. Airbus Helicopters and the French Ministry for Transport (DGAC) announced the launch of a research project aimed at demonstrating the use of a hybrid propulsion system on board a single-engine helicopter testbed. Airbus Group also has partnered with the French RATP Group "to study integrating flying vehicles in urban transport."

In eCTOL news, Eviation Aero unveiled a mock-up of its Alice eCTOL with CapeAir, one of the largest regional airlines in the U.S., as the first commercial customer, which plans to purchase "double-digits" of units. Ampaire announced 50 orders and 50 options for its hybrid-electric Ampaire 337. Airbus is teaming with DAHER on its Ecopulse and MagniX is flying an electric Caravan.

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