$23 Million Project Includes a Factory in Southwest France
Europe’s Airbus Group says it’s investing 20 million euros – nearly $23 million at current rates – in the E-Fan 2.0 two-seat all-electric aircraft, including a factory to build the small plane in Pau, in southwest France.
“We have reached the next milestone in our Airbus Group E-Aircraft roadmap,” CTO Jean Botti said in a release. “The industrialization of our E-Fan aircraft will help us to advance electric flight and also to gain experience to scale up the technology.”
“With this new assembly line, Airbus Group is preparing for the future and creating new jobs and business in the Aquitaine region,” Botti said.
Plant to Be Built in 2016
And Airbus entity dubbed Voltair SAS will manage E-Fan development, production and delivery. Voltair will also handle sales and maintenance for the E-Fan aircraft.
Airbus notes that Pau is already a regional center for the French aeronautics industry is close to design partner Daher, “and offers direct access to the runway, a medium size airport and good meteorological conditions.”
The purchase of the factory site is due to be completed by mid-year with construction of the E-Fan 2.0 plant slated to start in mid-2016.
Service Entry in 2017 or 2018
“The targeted goal for entry-into-service of the first E-Fan 2.0 is around the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018,” Airbus says.
Since its first flight on March 11, 2014, the E-Fan has performed more than 78 test flights logging more than 38 flight hours.
A “four-seat E-Fan 4.0 hybrid variant with an extended flight time” is also planned.
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Source: Airbus Group with Fleets & Fuels follow-up