Former Cello Avro RJ100 to be used for E-Fan X program 1

Airbus has acquired former Cello Aviation Avro RJ100 G-ILLR (msn E3379) for use as its E-Fan X demonstrator. Under the project, which is being undertaken in partnership with Rolls-Royce and Siemens, the RJ100’s number three engine will be replaced by a 2-megawatt electric-driven fan supplied by Siemens, fitted inside a standard 146/RJ engine pod. Rolls-Royce will provide an AE2100 engine driving a 2.5-megawatt generator, to be mounted in the rear cabin, and a battery sufficient to produce 2 megawatts of power for takeoff and cruise will be installed in the cargo holds. The modified 146 could fly in 2020. G-ILLR has been stored at Cranfield since Cello ceased operations in October.

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  • Stephen Skinner

    I went to a lecture by Riona Armersmith, Chief Project Engineer Hybrid Electric Propulsion at Rolls-RoycE at the Cambridge RAeS yesterday. Points to make, the testbed RJ100 has been re-registered as G-WEFX and is still at Cranfield. Rolls-Royce are using a scrapped 146 also at Cranfield for testing, the identity of which was not given. BAE as OEM are also involved in the project. No decision has been made as to where the work will be carried out, though a long runway is paramount, ruling out Cranfield. Venues for the work will be either Prestwick or Toulouse. It is expected that owing to the multitude of safety considerations the RJ would spend six months ground testing before its maiden flight, not now expected until 2021. The only other aircraft considered for the project was an A340, but the RJ100 was much cheaper.