Airbus has today announced that it is scrapping its plans to launch a hybrid-electric aircraft called the E-Fan X. The aircraft was a part of a project between Airbus and Rolls-Royce, which was launched in 2017. However, given the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the airline industry, Airbus has assessed that further development on this project is not viable at the moment.
The project was part of the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 vision to develop a quieter and more environment-friendly aircraft. Moreover, the project had reached key milestones and was set to undergo its maiden flight in 2021.
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Airbus, Grazia Vittadini, has said that the decision has come as a part of Airbus’ strategy to prioritize its current ambitions. She added:
“As with all ground-breaking R&T projects, it’s our duty to constantly evaluate and reprioritize them to ensure alignment with our ambitions. These decisions are not always easy. But they’re undoubtedly necessary to stay the course.”
Over that, Rolls-Royce CTO Paul Stein has openly stated that the cancellation of the project was a mutual decision based on the current situation. He said,” it has become clear to both parties that the actual requirement to carry out a test flight with all the elements integrated is not critical at this time.”
Moreover, he reasoned that as an aircraft, E-Fan X was always designed to be a demonstrator. There were no plans to put the plane into commercial