One could almost miss it, because the aircraft flies almost silently over the ILA exhibition grounds near Schönefeld Airport. Although it only has room for two people, this small plane is one of the main attractions at this year's ILA. The reason for this can be found under its bonnet - where other planes have a combustion engine and associated power units this aircraft features batteries, electronics for power control, inverters and the centrepiece, a 260 kW Rolls-Royce RRP260D motor.
The Extra 330LE aircraft is fully electrically powered and is the current speed and climb world-record holder in its class. With a power-to-weight ratio of 5.2 kW per kilogram, it represents a milestone in technological development. And Rolls-Royce is already working on the successor generation of the engine, the SP260D-A with even 5.8 kW per kilogram. The aircraft was planned to be part of the official flight programme and the static display.
This is how we imagined this year's ILA. Every precaution had been taken to show all visitors what innovations Rolls-Royce is working on to make air travel even more sustainable today and tomorrow.
The main stand in Hall 2 was to feature an original Trent XWB, the world's most efficient large aero-engine in service today, which powers the Airbus A350 XWB and is being assembled at Rolls-Royce's Dahlewitz site neraby the ILA grounds. Also on display would have been a scaled model of an apus i-5 - an aircraft for which a revolutionary new hybrid-electric drive system is currently being developed between the partners apus, the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and Rolls-Royce in Brandenburg.
The stand of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology was to feature the 200 kW RRP200D electric motor for the CityAirbus Demonstrator, an EVTOL or air taxi concept, aiming to demonstrate future urban air mobility. Besides electrification, sustainable fuels play an important role in making aviation even more sustainable. Using the example of an electrolysis stack, our experts from Rolls Royce Power Systems would have explained to visitors how sustainable fuels will be created from solar and wind power, for example, in our Power-to-X pilot project in the Lausitz region of Germany.
At the "AeroDays" with its innovation platform "ILA Future Lab Forum" and the "Berlin Aviation Summit", our Chief Technology Office, Paul Stein, and Rob Watson, Director - Rolls-Royce Electrical, would have discussed with other leading heads from research, business and politics how to jointly address the challenges ahead and make the aviation of the future even more sustainable.
Even if ILA does not start as planned on 13 May and we cannot welcome our visitors personally at our stand, we would still like to use the virtual ILA to showcase some of the things we are working on.