Transportation | June 27, 2011 |
All-Electric Airliner Could Take to the Skies by 2035
Last week’s Paris Air Show highlighted a number of innovations in aviation, but none “electrified” show-goers like EADS’ VoltAir airliner concept. The VoltAir concept is aimed relatively near future, where this proposed all-electric airliner could be cleanly criss-crossing the globe by 2035.
The VoltAir planes will be powered by a pair of advanced li-ion batteries beneath the nose of the aircraft, which send power to a pair of co-axial, counter-rotating propellers shrouded at the rear of the aircraft. Taking current trends in aircraft design a step further than combustion engines are capable of taking them, the VoltAir is expected (like all EVs) to be incredibly quiet, as well.
In a bid to reduce weight, complexity, and turnaround time at airports, recharging of the twin li-ion battery packs is intended to be accomplished outside the aircraft in a process similar to Project Better Place‘s efforts in the automotive arena, such that: plane lands, spent batteries pulled out, fresh batteries put in, plane takes off again. Simple!
The VoltAir’s future is far from certain, since it relies heavily on High-temperature Superconducting (HTS) materials which – at just around 3 years old — are currently in the early (but rapid!) stages of their development.
Here’s hoping the tech behind the VoltAir takes off shortly, followed by low-emission future flights soon after.Reprinted with permission from CleanTechnica