July 8, 2013
YOUR NEXT PLANE WILL BE A VOLT:
Once a Joke, Battery-Powered Airplanes Are Nearing Reality : Aerospace companies are working on hybrid electric airplanes, and the earliest versions will likely arrive before the end of the decade. (Kevin Bullis, July 8, 2013, Technology Review)
Last month Siemens and EADS demonstrated a new gas-electric vehicle capable of carrying two people and their luggage 900 kilometers--roughly the distance from New York to Detroit--between refuels and recharges. The prototype was not a car, but a small two-seater airplane.The hybrid plane is similar to the Chevrolet Volt in that it relies on an electric motor and uses a gas engine as backup. The airplane matches the performance of some private airplanes already on the market, but it has two distinct advantages: it's remarkably quiet, and uses about 25 percent less fuel.The achievement presages what is likely to be a big shift toward hybrid propulsion in airplanes.
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 8, 2013 5:06 AM
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