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Author Topic: New Electric Airplane  (Read 779 times)

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New Electric Airplane
« on: January 11, 2015, 12:15:52 pm »
There's nothing too new about electric planes. They built a few low speed solar powered aircraft with huge wingspans all made of solar panels. But this is the first battery powed aircraft I've heard of that can carry people rather than just drones or model aircraft.

Earlier this year, the Airbus started publicly flying a prototype of the E-Fan, which weighs just 1100lbs. The France-based aircraft maker showed it off this week at the Farnborough International Airshow.

The model is impractical, but Airbus believes electric aircraft will become important in coming years as a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from conventional aircraft exhaust and to offer quieter planes. Noise isn't just an issue for people living near airports; quieter planes could be flown at hours that noisier conventional craft are prohibited, so airlines could schedule more flights, Airbus argues.

The E-Fan 2.0 has dual electric motors with a total power of 60kW; they drive two ducted fans with blades whose pitch can be adjusted. With a 120-cell lithium polymer battery, it can fly for one hour before a 15-minute reserve.

Its batteries are passively cooled -- in other words, they rely ultimately on air, not a powered cooling system, to keep them from overheating as they discharge power.

The prototype has two seats, one in front of the other, but the production version will have side-by-side seats, & there is also a 4-6 seat version planned.

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