Planes are high polluters too, you know, so one way to cull that at high altitude would be to make them fully electric, like we’re starting to do with our cars.
Airbus has a small model already in advanced testing phases and it recently took off from the UK with the aim of crossing the Channel to France.
It’s called the E-Fan, and it looks very simple in its design. First revealed over a year ago, the E-Fan has a tandem seating position, two 30 kW motors powering two ducted rotors.
Its lithium polymer battery come from a South Korean company called Kokam and it is located in the inner part of the wings. It not only powers the main rotors but also the two larger wheels – they are the part of the landing gear that retract, but they’re also powered and can move the plane along on their own at up to 60 km/h or 37 mph.
Today, the plane managed was flown from the UK to Calais, in France thus marking a historic occasion: it’s the first ever all-electric airplane to make the crossing.
Airbus is still tweaking it at the moment, but they say it will be commercially available in 2017.