Briefing: July 2014
Airbus, CAFE Symposium Boost Electric Airplanes
Electric-powered airplanes may still be far from mainstream, but interest in this technology continues to grow. In late April, Airbus engineers successfully flew the E-Fan, a tandem two-seater with a pair of electric-powered ducted fans on the tail. The batteries, carried in the wings, provide 30 minutes of flight. Airbus officials said they hope to develop an electric-powered regional airliner within 20 years. Also in April, the annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium was held in Santa Rosa, Calif., bringing together experts from around the world. Discussions included advances in lithium-battery capacity, hybrid powertrains for general aviation, quiet and efficient propellers, and new designs to simplify using computers in the cockpit.
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