Neither Boeing nor Airbus. The star of the next Paris Air Show, which takes place from June 19 to 25, will be Aura Aero. Contrary to previous years, when the world's major manufacturers of civil aircraft were in the spotlight, it is a very small company based on the former Toulouse-Francazal air base that will attract the spotlight. Still unknown to the general public, it is beginning to fascinate aviation aficionados. And for good reason: with it, a revolution is underway.
- Podcast Elsewhere: Singapore's hidden surprises and treasures
Aura Aero, founded five years ago by three engineers – Jérémy Caussade, Fabien Raison and Wilfried Dufaud – is one of the most advanced companies in the world to create the carbon-free aircraft of tomorrow. This 200-person SME is completing the development of three aerobatic training and instruction aircraft, but what will make it famous is its regional aircraft project – a 19-seat aircraft whose purchase and operating costs will be cut in half compared to those of the current market. The revolution is not just about savings on purchases. This aircraft, called ERA – for Electric Regional Aircraft – equipped with 8 propeller engines, will produce 80% less CO2 and will be quiet. A discreet aircraft that will be acclaimed by the residents of airports. Thanks to its lower operating costs, it will allow airlines to significantly reduce ticket prices. It will then become completely competitive compared to the car and the train with, as a bonus for users, an incredible time saving.
But still: thanks to this aircraft, multiple lines can be created in France, so as to connect the regions between them. Tomorrow, we can go from Metz to Toulouse, from Strasbourg to Brest, from Nantes to Perpignan... The range of possibilities is considerable, especially since transversal relations have always been neglected by the train and by the major airlines.
But only 19 places? Why this choice, when Airbus, for its part, is working on a 100-seat hydrogen aircraft? Simply because it is the ideal number of passengers to benefit from the current technological gain, transporting them at 555 km / h over a distance of up to 1600 kilometers. The lessors of aircraft that make rain and shine on civil aviation were not mistaken: Amedeo, which is one of them, has already pre-ordered 200 copies. The global requirement for this type of 19-seat aircraft is estimated at 2,000 aircraft.
Read alsoTrain or plane: which one to choose for your trips to Europe?
A marvel of aerodynamics
On the average distance of 500 kilometers, which is that of regional trips, ERA will cover 155 kilometers thanks to its rechargeable batteries in thirty minutes. Aura Aero
It only takes a glance at this new model to realize that it breaks all codes. It is not surprising that its CEO studied fluid mechanics. Its cabin height – 1.88 meters –, aluminum fuselage and carbon wings, designed to reduce weight, make it a marvel of aerodynamics. Its eight small electric motors, supplied by Safran, will be powered by four batteries and its two turbogenerators by sustainable fuel. For comparison, its direct thermal competitor, the 19-seater Beechcraft, used extensively in France by Chalair or Twin Jet, designed in the 1980s, has been flying with two engines since 1991. On the average distance of 500 kilometers, which is that of regional trips, ERA will cover 155 kilometers thanks to its rechargeable batteries in thirty minutes and the turbogenerators will take over for the rest of the route. The plane of tomorrow has emerged from its chrysalis.
See alsoOnly five passengers per flight: end clap for the Paris-Limoges airline