E-Cristaline MC15E Cri-Cri
The scientific research electric airplane was developed by EADS Innovation Works and Aero Composites Saintonge, in order to research green energy propulsion technologies.
The Cri returned to Le Bourget (September 2010) to undertake its first test flight. Take-off and initial climb were reported to be smooth, the pilot – Didier Esteyne – feeling no vibrations and enjoying good maneuverability. All systems performed without a hitch and the Cri returned to the waiting pool of press photographers some seven minutes later.
Esteyne pointed out that the simple test flight was just the beginning for the Cri and that the team have a lot to learn. "We are allowed to start aerobatic maneuvers only after five hours of flight and 15 landings," he said.
EADS Chief Technical Officer mirrored the pilot's comments, saying that the Cri "is a low-cost test bed for system integration of electrical technologies in support of projects like our hybrid propulsion concept for helicopters. We hope to get a lot of useful information out of this project."
A view over the canopy and the instrumentation available to the pilot.
The Cri's counter-rotating propellers are powered by four brushless electric motors and energy dense Lithium batteries. Such technology, combined with its lightweight composite structure, help it to achieve 30 minutes of cruise flight or 15 minutes of speedier aerobatics.