Saturday, July 11, 2015

Airbus e-plane crosses channel

Airbus completed its first flight of an electric plane across the English Channel on Friday. The two-seat E-Fan demonstrator is powered by lithium batteries and took 36 minutes to fly from Lydd in southern Enland to Calais, France. Airbus is not the first. A private named Hugues Duval thwarted Airbus's aim to be the first to cross the Channel in a battery-powered aircraft by making the flight the evening prior in his home-built single-seat plane. Airbus subsidiary VoltAir SAS aims to have two-seat E-Fan 2.0 planes flying in 2017, an evolution of today's prototype. Construction of a new factory in Pau in southwest France begins in 2016. A four-seat hybrid model with a range extender powered by traditional fuel will follow in 2019. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 07/10/15) Gulf Coast note: Airbus has an A320 assembly line and engineering center in Mobile, Ala.