15 Apr 2019

Electric flight in focus at FAI

Amphibious aircraft, flying bikes and fuel cell drive technology were among the subjects explored at the New technologies and power sources for sustainable aviation symposium held as part of this year’s FAI Amateur-built and Experimental Aircraft Commission (CIACA) Annual Meeting.

Speakers at the symposium, which took place on Saturday, 13 April at The Global Show for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany, included the Electric Engine Constructions team from industrial giant Siemens, two representatives of Swiss hybrid-electric aircraft manufacturer Smartflyer, and CIACA President Alfons Hubmann.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part for making this such a fascinating event,” Hubmann said. 

The CIACA is not the only FAI commission to be turning the spotlight on electric flight, however.

The FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) has also joined forces with teams from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), and the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) to work on a new electric sport concept: the E-Challenge, an e-racing extravaganza involving planes, cars, boats and motorbikes.

EnvC President Pierre Duval said: “We are very excited about the potential for this event, which will bring together electric planes, cars, boats and motorbikes in one race for the very first time.”

The 2022 FAI World Air Games (WAG) in Turkey will also include a conference on electric air transport, which is to be held in the capital city Ankara and hosted by Ankara University. And the WAG organising committee is looking into the possibility of running an electric flying contest of some kind.

Photo credit: Siemens Pressphoto