Jump to content

Electric plane may set stage for cheaper flights

Recommended Posts





Airbus showed off a lot of planes at the recent Farnborough International Airshow, but one is gaining attention for what it doesn't do -- make a sound.
The E-Fan 2.0 is the world's first airplane with fans to have fully electric propulsion, and is the first step for the company in developing an 80- or 90-seat passenger commercial plane. Chief Technology Officer Jean Botti told Smithsonian.com they are hoping to have a prototype by 2030.
One of the most expensive costs in flying is fuel so this could drastically reduce the price of plane tickets. Inhabit.com reports a flight on "E-fan could cost only $16, compared to $55 for a flight in a petrol-powered plane of the same size."
Airbus files patent to use bicycle-like seats on planes
Spindly all-solar plane's green tech exploration: Getting a thrill while saving the planet
Airbus E-Fan electric plane
The E-Fan flight demonstrator prepares for take-off. (Credit: Airbus Group)
Airbus plans to make two versions of E-fan, a two-seater that is fully electric and a four-seater that is powered by a hybrid system.
"This is a learning curve to get to the big ones in the future," Botti told CNN.
The two-seater will be used for training and Botti said running this plane is up to 50 times cheaper than fuel costs for a normal plane. Airbus is hoping to have the two-seater available by 2017.
But the goal for Airbus with E-Fan isn't to sell a lot of these little planes.
"We're doing all this to learn and to scale up," Botti told Smithsonian.com. "The goal here is to develop the technology to (build) a regional aircraft."
The current model will be powered by a hybrid system called E-Thrust.
The plane measures just under seven metres and has a wingspan of more than nine metres. It weighs about 600 kilograms and has a maximum speed of 160 km/h, according to the company's website.
If you think plugging in a plane is just as simple as plugging in a car, think again.
"It's not like a car, where you get 1.2 or 1.5 kilowatts per kilo(gram) and make a car run for an OK distance," Botti told Smithsosian.com. "They problem we have in aeronautics is gravity; you have to get up to seven to 10 kilowatts per kilo(gram)."
All of this power comes from 120 lithium-ion polymer cells in the wings allowing the plane to fly for about an hour. Airbus is also working on a method to quickly change the batteries on the tarmac.
If a larger plane does become commercially available, it will also have the advantage of allowing planes to fly in and out of airports at later hours due to noise reduction.
Here is the building and testing of the plane:
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Saiba os termos, regras e políticas de privacidade