01 July 2014

A silent, zero-emissions electric airplane

The E-Fan, engineered by Airbus Group, is propelled by two 30-kilowatt electric motors, themselves powered by a series of lithium-ion batteries fitted into the plane’s wings (a 6 kW electric motor in the main wheel gives it some extra thrust on the ground).  ”It’s a very different way of flying,” said Jean Botti, chief technical and innovation officer at Airbus Group, told ClimateWire, “absolutely no noise, no emissions.”..

Right now, the E-Fan can only remain in the air for an hour, which means that range anxiety — which accompanies electric vehicles of all sorts — is bound to be a concern... To that effect, the E-Fan is equipped with a backup battery and a parachute.

Airbus Group’s ultimate goal is to make a 70- to 80-person hybrid-electric commuter jet with three hours of range in the 2050 time frame... These advances are steppingstones toward realizing Flight Path 2050, the European Union’s aggressive goal to reduce the aviation sector’s nitrous oxide emissions by 90 percent, noise pollution by 65 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent by 2050.
More information at the link, where there is a video of the manufacturing and first flight of the aircraft.


  1. Air time at what speed? An electric alternative for all the short hopper flights that happen <40 miles would be great. Especially if they could fly independent of larger air traffic at a much lower elevation.

  2. And what "magic" no-emissions source of energy is used to charge these batteries? Also interested in what kind of fan generates aircraft level thrust and "no noise".

  3. Hahahahaha - No emissions? How about the coal or gas that was burned to make that electricity? Those battteris didn't charge themselves.

    Sorry! Any electricity that didn't specifically come from wind or solar or nuclear is NOT emission-free. And with only 1% of our power coming from solar or wind, the best bet - more or less 60% - is that the power was generated using gas or coal. It depends what geographic location the electric charger is plugged into.

    The 2050 goal for an electric passenger jet is a pipe dream - like solar was in the 1970s. They have NOTHING to base that on - just a hope and a wish that someone will come along and improve batteries enough by then. (Just like back in 1970 they said that it won't be long nefore we all are generating all our eletricity with slar panels. As you all can see, that has not happened yet,, and the promise is as far in the future now as we thought it would be then. But that promise simply is not real. Oh, it COULD happen, but do not hold you breath.) And as things stand, in they year 2050, it will still be plugged into a wall outlet to charge - meaning it will be using fossil fuels for most of that charge.

    That is, unless Thorium LFTRs are everywhere by then.


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