All the elements were in place for the Airbus communication operation is a success. Its small electric aircraft E-Fan would pay tribute to the great Bleriot crossed the Channel in the other direction, Lydd UK to Calais on the French coast. While a device was in place on the Web for aviation fans support the project by tweeting while an audience of children could attend the flight in “live” and a battalion of journalists was summoned to capture the record. Really a beautiful operation. The E-Fan prototype Airbus and Daher would become the first electric aircraft to cross the English Channel.
A very relative performance when following Solar Impulse’s flight, but never mind, Airbus which kerosene remains the engine of the company, wants its green image and E-Fan must have his record costs only costs, even if we spend a few dirty tricks. Only a small grain of sand media has distorted the beautiful mechanics.
The Airbus E-Fan beaten by an amateur aircraft builder
Few today remember the rivalry between Arthur Charles Hubert Latham, driver patentee # 9 in Louis Blériot in 1909 on the crossing of the Channel. After 2 dives of Antoinette Hubert Latham in the cold waters of the channel, the latter had to leave victory to Blériot who manages to land his Blériot XI more or less around the right side of the Channel. A race to the epic record that has just found an epilogue this week with multiple twists.
It was written. The E-Fan landed at Calais Friday, July 10 at 11am after 37 minutes of flight. A flight of 74 km without history for Didier Esteyne the lucky driver of electric aircraft prototype developed by Airbus and Daher. A flight that leaves a bitter taste for all aviation fans for the E-Fan will not be credited with the first crossing. Hugues Duval, driver of a tiny little electric Cri-Cri Twin completed the Dover-Calais crossing in 17 minutes only. The Aero-Club de France has even cracked an official statement on the feat of Hugues Duval, thus taking sides openly for this brave pilot facing the giant Airbus. A remake of the earthen pot against the iron pot because everything was done for the E-Fan is the first electric aircraft to cross the neck.
Alpha Electro, the plane that would get the record
For if the E-Fan and the Cri-Cri to Electravia engines have been shown to cross the handle, a third device could anticipate. This electric aircraft, is the Alpha Electro Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel. For this two-seater plane, crossed the English Channel was theoretically a formality. Its range is twice that of the E-Fan and Finesse Max, the French distributor of Pipistrel had obtained a permit to fly across the English Channel for July 7. On paper, Alpha Electro had to beat on the wire E-Fan, but it was not counting on Airbus and Siemens faithful ally. German Industrial, which supplies the electric motor of the Alpha Electro, formally prohibits Pipistrel to make this flight. It’s Ivo Boscarol, the CEO of Pipistrel, which revealed the flight ban imposed by Siemens in official mail. Private electric motor, Slovak had no alternative but to cancel the attempt. Siemens is a partner of Airbus in the E-Fan Project, one can even observe stickers on the device while it is not even equipped with Siemens electric motors … The CEO of Pipistrel has sportingly congratulated by Airbus and its driver ahead of this crossing.
Translation : Google Translate
“Traversée de la Manche réussie pour l’E-Fan”, Air&Cosmos, July 10, 2015
“Airbus E-Fan Makes Successful English Channel Flight”, Flying, July 10, 2015
“Première traversée de la Manche en avion électrique : Le Cri-Cri électrique ouvre le bal …”, Communiqué de l’Aéroclub de France, July 9, 2015
“Hugues Duval effectue la 1ère traversée de la Manche en avion électrique”, Blog Electravia, July 9, 2015
“Siemens denies e-motors to Pipistrel”, AOPA News, July 7, 2015
“Airbus accused of ‘bad sportsmanship'”, Flyer, July 7, 2015