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Electric-powered Magnus eFusion crash in Hungary kills two

An electric-powered, two-seat aircraft built by Magnus crashed on 31 May in Hungary during a training flight, killing the two people on board.

The crash comes two years after the Magnus eFusion completed a first flight using electric propulsion technology designed by German electronics and software conglomerate Siemens.

“A tragic accident with two casualties happened yesterday in Hungary to an airplane [with] our electric propulsion,” says Frank Anton, head of eAircraft at Siemens.

“Our deepest thoughts are with the families and friends of the casualties,” he says. “We cannot speculate on causes yet. We work closely with the authorities investigating the cause.”

Hungary’s state police announced on 31 May that a “small aircraft crashed a few hundred meters away from Pecs-Pogany airport in the direction of Szalanta for unknown reasons and circumstances,” according to a 31 May news release.

Szalanta is a village located about 5km due south of the Pecs-Pogany runway.

The Magnus eFusion is a version of the company’s gas-powered Fusion 212 two-seater that made its first flight in 2016. It uses Siemens’ new SP55D electric motor and a FlyEco diesel engine.

It was created to “provide meaningful insights into the application of hybrid-electric systems for aircraft during future operation”, according to Siemens web site.

The first production series version of the Magnus eFusion flew on 11 April.

The 55kW motor was the first of a long series of planned electric power systems for aircraft for Siemens. The company already has released a 260kW electric motor to power the Extra 300 aerobatic aircraft and partnered with Airbus to develop a 2MW electric motor for the E-FanX, a BAe 146 testbed with one of the four engines replaced with an electric propulsion system.

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