01 Dec '17, 11am

New hybrid plane will add second electric engine as battery costs drop

New hybrid plane will add second electric engine as battery costs drop

Until recently, the idea of fully electric commercial flight wasn't even on my radar. But as battery costs come down dramatically, this prospect is moving from (ahem) pie-in-the-sky to a very real possibility within the next decade or so. The trouble is, we need to start cutting carbon now. Luckily, electrification isn't always an all-or-nothing proposition, especially in a plane with several engines. A new partnership from Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens appears to take advantage of this fact. Dubbed the E-Fan X, this will be a demonstration hybrid aircraft which—initially—will have one of four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. But as the system matures, is demonstrated to be safe and, presumably, as battery costs come down, provisions will be made toward replacing a second turbine with another 2MW motor. Electrek described the move as, likely...

Full article: https://www.treehugger.com/aviation/new-hybrid-plane-will...

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