A new Airbus graduate and apprentice project was unveiled at Venturefest last week. Bringing aviation back to Bristol, the Eco-Flyer is the fruit borne of the project to design and manufacture a light, two-seater electric general aviation vehicle.

The craft, using the latest in aviation technology, will soar over Bristol producing zero carbon emissions. The project will bring together skills and tools normally used for large passenger aircraft design at the Airbus facility in Filton to push the boundaries of next generation, eco-efficient, light aircraft design.

Green tech

Launched this year the project was designed to coincide with the year of Bristol European Green Capital the idea behind it is to inspire ideas and debate on the future of aviation in the city, this year and beyond. It’s a technology demonstrator that hopes to inform the future of electric aircraft design and build capabilities.

Revealed at Venturefest this week the Bristol Eco-Flyer has a total motor power of 48kW and an energy target of 22kW hours.

Graduate brain power

Behind the Eco-Flyer is the team at Filwood, Bristol. Consisting primarily of Airbus engineers on the graduate or apprenticeship schemes, supported by engineering experts in the business with skills and expertise in aerospace stress, aerodynamics, and structural design engineering, as well as light aircraft design and manufacture and motorsport.

Also at Filton is the fuel team who are researching sustainable alternative aviation fuels made from new types of raw material, such as micro algae, yeast, waste materials, and non-food competitive crops, to understand the properties of them and how they will work in existing aircraft fuel systems.

If you want to find out more about the projects at Airbus follow them on twitter @airbus. Want to know more about the fantastic innovation happening in Bristol & Bath? Follow us: @TechSPARKuk.

Geraint Evans