Airbus SE (Toulouse Blagnac) has acquired its first ARJ-100 following the purchase of an ex-Cello Aviation (CLJ, Birmingham Int'l) machine, G-ILLR (msn E3379).

According to Skyliner Aviation, the 18-year-old quadjet was re-registered as G-WEFX ahead of its ferry flight to Cranfield where it will be used as a hybrid electric-drive test-vehicle from 2020.

Airbus is working on the hybrid vehicle to help the aviation industry meet the goals set out in the Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation, which aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and noise levels.

To that end, the European manufacturer intends to use battery technology to replace one of four gas turbines on the ARJ-100 flying testbed with a 2 MW E-Fan X electric motor which will be developed in tandem with Rolls-Royce and Siemens.