Gallery: EADS Rethinks the Way Planes Fly With New All-Electric Aircraf...

 

At the 2011 Paris Air Show the aerospace giant EADS showcased an all-electric propulsion system for a commercial airliner that could be ready to fly in just 20 years. The plane, called the VoltAir, is a zero-emissions, high-density, battery-powered aircraft that rethinks the design of conventional commercial aircraft in order to allow for the swapping out of a emissions heavy jet engine for an earth-friendly battery system. The plane is powered by highly efficient superconducting electric motors which drive counter-rotating, shrouded propellers located at the rear of the plane. The significance of this plane isn’t centered on the engineers decision to plop a battery inside, but from the team at EADS understanding that in order to make electric aircraft a reality, we’ll have to rethink not only the engines, but the propulsion systems and the airframe design as well.

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  1. caeman June 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

    It is a cool design. Could they build it to be powered by a diesel-fueled electric generator until the batteries catch up? And as a backup? This is one time when having a dead battery would be a really, really Bad Thing ™.

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