Daher-Socata today announced it has signed on as a major partner with Airbus Group’s VoltAir subsidiary for the design, development and certification of a new electric airplane unveiled earlier this year called the E-Fan 2.0.
The all-electric two-seater is the first product in what is being billed as a full-scale electric aircraft development program, launched by Airbus Group with great fanfare earlier in the year. The E-Fan 2.0 is intended to be a general aviation trainer, and the first full-rate production electric aircraft in the world. One of the stated goals of the program is eventually to usher in an era of electrical applications for future Airbus airliners.
Under the agreement with Airbus, Daher-Socata will be responsible for the E-Fan 2.0’s entire development, including its electric engine and batteries, flight test and certification by EASA in Europe. The French manufacturer will also be responsible for helping define the operational framework and regulations for ab-initio pilot training with the French DGAC civil aviation airworthiness authority.
The contract, said officials, was the result of an initial 18-month phase of work studies conducted with Airbus Group, and comes at the perfect time for Daher-Socata, which introduced the TBM 900 single-engine turboprop a few months ago, freeing its engineering team to focus on the new project. It is predicted the E-Fan 2.0 eventually will be sold in the United States, although no potential pricing information has been revealed.
Daher-Socata has produced more than 700 TBMs as well as thousands more piston GA airplanes under the Rallye and TB lines.
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