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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

EADS unveils four-engine electric aerobatic plane

EADS Innovation Works is casting its net wide in the search for solutions to aviation's environmental challenges. At the Green Aviation Show under way (June 18-22) in Le Bourget, Paris, EADS's research arm is presenting the first four-engined, all-electric aerobatic aircraft, based on the tiny Cri-Cri homebuilt.

Partnered by Aero Composites Saintonge and the Greencri-cri Association, EADS Innovation Works has presented Cri-Cri, the first-ever four-engined all-electric aerobatic plane, at the Green Aviation Show in Le Bourget from 18 to 22 June.

This aerobatic plane incorporates numerous innovative technologies such as lightweight composite structures that reduce the weight of the airframe and compensate for the additional weight of the batteries, four brushless electric motors with counter-rotating propellers which deliver propulsion without CO2 emissions and significantly lower noise compared to thermal propulsion, and high energy-density Lithium batteries.

The combined utilisation of these environment-friendly technical innovations enables the Cri-Cri to deliver novel performance values: 30 minutes of autonomous cruise flight 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.

Set to undergo its first flight tests in the next few days, this four-engine electric plane paves the way for a new generation of environment-friendly high-performance aircraft.

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