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PAS: Airbus to Exhibit EcoPulse Hybrid-electric Aircraft

Our Bureau - : Jun 13, 2023 - : 11:18 am

Airbus will publicly unveil its EcoPulse hybrid-electric aircraft at the Paris Air Show. The technology demonstrator is scheduled to have its first flight later this year.

The EcoPulse is a Daher TBM light aircraft modified with a hybrid-electric powertrain and six electrically-driven propellers along the wing that is being developed jointly by Airbus, Daher and Safran.

The project commenced in 2019 at the previous edition of the show. It is and is supported by CORAC (the French Civil Aviation Research Council) and co-funded by the French Government and the EU. The project aims to advance technology “techno-bricks” that could contribute to the decarbonisation efforts of the aviation industry. In particular, the demonstrator will evaluate the advantages of distributed propulsion, onboard overall energy efficiency (fuel reduction) and high-voltage electrical propulsion and battery in terms of their potential for integration on future aircraft.

EcoPulse features a high-voltage 800VDC battery supplied by Airbus to power six SmartMotors with a 100kW turbogenerator also onboard provided by Safran. The turbogenerator contains a compact gas turbine coupled to an electrical generator.

After the development and integration of the high-voltage battery into the test aircraft last year, the project team has been preparing the demonstrator’s final aerodynamic and systems configuration. Since the start of the year, Daher has conducted test flights at its development base in Tarbes, France, with the e-Propellers (unpowered at this stage) supplied by Safran.


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