ABOVE: The electric Integral E is the third variant offered by Aura Aero
In the first of two unveilings scheduled for the first day of the 54th Paris Air Show, Tolouse-based startup Aura Aero has unveiled the all-new electric powered variant of their Integral aerobatically-capable training platform, the Integral E.
2023 marks the second appearance at the show for the French OEM, which was founded in 2018 and currently employs around 200 people. “For our second participation, we will be able to unveil our entire range” noted President and Co-Founder Jérémy Caussade; referring to an aircraft family also comprising the taildragging Integral R (projected for pilot training) and the tricycle-gear aerobatic Integral S.
With the light aircraft market looking (along with the aerospace industry as a whole) to embrace more sustainable initiatives, the all-electric E aircraft seeks to “adopt the whole spirit of the S version,” explains Wilfred Dufould, General Manager and Chief Project Officer. All aircraft are constructed from a “choice of noble and lasting materials” – a wood-carbon combination – which “ensures lightness, resistance and reparability”.
The R variant made its inaugural flight in 2020 and the S, which received EASA authorization to commence its flight test campaign in April, is expected to make its first flight in the coming weeks. The all-electric proof of concept, however, is projected to fly before the end of the year subject to validation of various bench tests. “We have to adapt on the test bench and evolve the maturity of the technology,” explains Dufould, adding that a Safran engine will power the prototype on display. Maximum endurance is predicted to be 60 minutes with two pilots on board, and battery recharge time will be less than 30 minutes.
As the journey towards concurrent EASA and FAA type certification progresses, Aura Aero already have their first customer for the all-electric E, which will be available in both tricycle and tailgragger variants.
IMAGES: CHARLOTTE BAILEY