The Airbus E-Fan Takes To The Skies
The next generation of airplane technology is upon us.
With the aviation industry being one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, it’s striving to reduce its carbon footprint.
And new technology is driving change. In this case, we’re talking about all-electric planes.
There are several inventors and companies in various countries working on the concept. But the most prominent name is Airbus Group (EADSY). It’s investing $22 million into a project that will develop electric planes.
Here’s a look at the “Tesla of the skies…”
Airbus Goes Back to the Future
The E-Fan is 22 feet long, has a 31-foot wingspan, weighs 1,100 pounds when empty, and has a cruising speed of 100 mph.
But, most importantly, the two-seater electric plane emits zero emissions.
It operates entirely on lithium-ion batteries, which power its two 30-kilowatt electric motors. During acceleration and taxiing, a six-kilowatt electric motor in the main wheel provides extra power. This reduces electrical power consumption while on the ground.
And E-Fan doesn’t just boast less environmental pollution. Since taking its first flight in March 2014, Airbus has shown off the E-Fan at various airshows across Europe, with spectators noting a big advantage when it comes to noise pollution. The plane is virtually silent.
On July 10, Airbus made headlines when the E-Fan successfully crossed the English Channel. The flight path mirrored that of Louis Blériot in 1909, the first aviator to cross the Channel.
Here’s a look at the plane…
This design is just the beginning, too…
The Future of Aviation – Batteries and Biofuel
As Airbus points out, the Channel crossing was made possible thanks to very recent technological advances.
For example, electric storage capacity – essential to keep the motors running – has jumped by 60%, as the lithium-ion batteries have become more efficient.