Rolls-Royce and Airbus cancel hybrid plane joint project before 2021 test flights

May 22, 2020
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In 2017, Rolls-Royce and Airbus launched the E-Fan X hybrid-electric flight demonstration project. Since completing key milestones earlier in 2020, the E-Fan X was scheduled to begin test flights in 2021. However, it had yet to incorporate the hybrid-electric propulsion system. In the wake of major disruptions to the aviation industry due to COVID-19, cutting of a resource-intensive joint program is expected. Both companies cited an improved knowledge of hybrid-electric propulsion systems, CO2 emissions reduction, and future certification and regulatory acceptance for future technology. Clients should expect smaller-scale future electrification efforts from both companies, but only when the aviation industry is more secure.

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