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MDS Selected by Airbus for E-Fan X Test Systems for Electric Flight Demonstrator

MDS has signed a contract with Airbus, an international leader in designing, manufacturing, and delivering commercial aircraft, to deliver test systems for the E-Fan X Test Bench. The hybrid-electric technology demonstrator will be the first step to making electric flight a reality. Set to fly in 2020 following extensive ground testing, the E-Fan X program will see one of the four gas turbine engines on a BAe 146 aircraft replaced with a two-megawatt electric motor.

Airbus is taking the lead on overall integration for the project and selected MDS of Ottawa, Canada to supply critical test systems to support the E-Fan X testing program.

“MDS has been selected as a preferred supplier for the GenSet Test Bench of the E-Fan X,” says Marcus Schulz, Head of Test & Simulation for Airbus. “We are convinced that this project will be a success thanks to MDS’s expertise and experience in propulsion test bench development.”

The 2.5MW GenSet consists of a generator and AE2100 gas turbine engine. MDS will also be responsible for test cell adaptations for the GenSet Test Bench, which forms part of the E-Aircraft Systems (EAS) Test House to be constructed in Munich, Germany. The full-scale demonstrator will be the first time in history that an electric motor of that magnitude takes to the skies to propel a passenger airplane. The system will be powered by a generator housed in the fuselage – MDS will be providing the test equipment and platform for testing this component.

E-Fan X Serial Hybrid Architecture

Developing greener flight technologies is a vision of the UK government, which announced their financial support for the industry as well as the E-Fan X project at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow. For the past decade. MDS has been doing their part for the environment by developing solutions of their own that can make use of wasted energy and save their clients money. A patent on an ambitious green technology and future plans for small scale testing will bring MDS one step closer to realizing their goals in a sustainable future for the engine testing arena.

“Hybrid-electric aircraft represent the next step in the evolution of air travel,” says John Jastremski, President & CEO of MDS. “We are honoured and excited to be selected by Airbus to be part of this innovative technology demonstrator program, bringing the world one step closer to being less reliant on fossil fuels.”

MDS has a long history of working with engine manufacturers in the gas turbine engine testing space, designing and building facilities around the world to test the engines built by the top manufacturers. Joe Hajjar, MDS’s VP of Business Development is very enthusiastic about working with Airbus. “They are one of the biggest players in the aviation industry,” he says. “What will be accomplished with the E-Fan X project will change the way we think about aircraft and we are thrilled to be part of history in the making.” Marcus Schulz of Airbus agrees, “We look forward to working with MDS on this exciting endeavour.”

Airbus E-Fan X Airplane

When it comes to meeting sustainability goals, electric transportation is the future. MDS is proud to be part of this adventure into the new age of air travel.

MDS Global Communications
Sarah Diguer

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