Frank Chapman, Airbus Test Pilot, used the Merlin MP521 Engineering Flight Simulator at The College of Engineering at Swansea University to fly and assess the Bristol Eco-Flyer Electric Aircraft Design in December.
The Bristol Eco-Flyer is an Airbus graduate and apprentice project to design ad manufacture a light, two-seater general aviation aircraft at Airbus' Bristol facility.
The simulation of the Eco-Flyer, an eco efficient light aircraft with a wing span of 18.5 metres, and a cruise speed of 96 knots was tested on Swansea's MP521 in order to further the development of the design.
The Airbus team, led by Professor Norman Wood, with graduates ellen Hindley and Ross Field, were delighted with the aircraft's performance. Professor Wood said "The Merlin simulator package provides a rapid and constructive path to assess our predictions for the performance and handling qualities of this innovative aircraft concept. The flexibility within the Merlin input model was easily able to accommodate the particular aspects of an electric aircraft. In the context of the Eco-Flyer project it has proven invaluable in adding confidence that the layout, powertrain integration and control of the aircraft appear to satisfy our initial expectations, and the project requirements."