Big development push for electric propulsion for airliners by European groups

European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft. This is intended to be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises jointly announced at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Tuesday. The flight demonstrator is designated the E-Fan X and will probably employ the airframe of the four-engine BAE 146 regional airliner. It is expected to fly in 2020.