Alternative fuels and new solutions in the field of sustainable traffic management particularly affect aviation , which has a major impact on the CO2 balance . After undertaking many development projects in the field of hydrogen fuel, Airbus has now announced that hybrid technology for aircraft has made a big step forward. EcoPulse , a hybrid system from Airbus, Darum and Safran, is scheduled to make its maiden flight later this year .
In June 2021, Airbus successfully completed the wind tunnel test of the EcoPulse system. In the current calendar year, the demo plane is being assembled , which is also scheduled to celebrate its first flight in 2022.
The battery itself is about 2.3 m long , 75 cm wide and 20 cm deep. It is mounted under the fuselage and integrated into a reinforced aerodynamic fairing . It is one of the two power sources of the demo plane, the other is an "e-Auxiliary Power Unit" (e-APU) from Safran. The battery of the EcoPulse system has an output of up to 350 kilowatts and generates up to 800 volts of direct current. Impressive values, especially considering the dead weight of only 350 kilograms .
In addition to the construction of the prototype, several sample batteries are also being tested in Toulouse according to strict aviation standards. These tests evaluate performance, environmental and safety features to ensure the batteries are guaranteed to perform during the test flights.
By understanding the behavior of high-voltage batteries thanks to these tests, Airbus will develop important competencies for the application of micro-hybridization architectures in future aircraft, for example to optimize the power/energy management of non-propulsion functions such as air conditioning, autopilot and flight controls .
Airbus itself says that hybridization thanks to batteries is an important building block for the global strategy . The clear goal of the multinational company is decarbonization . In addition to the hybrid concept, Airbus also sees hydrogen technology , various wing configurations and optimization of flight controls as a tool to equip the aircraft of the future with a better CO2 balance .