Posts Tagged: Electric Airplanes

Boeing completes test flight of autonomous electric passenger aircraft

Boeing has completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. The PAV prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight as well as the transition phase between vertical… Read more »

Rolls-Royce hopes to shatter electric airplane speed record

A partnership led by Rolls-Royce is building an electric aircraft that it hopes will reach a top speed of over 300 mph and beat the previous speed record of 210 mph set in 2017 by Siemens. The project is part of a Rolls-Royce initiative called Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL), which is partly funded… Read more »

University of Illinois puts hybrid aircraft to the test in simulation

Automobiles are trending towards electric power – but what about their counterparts in the sky? Jet fuel and aviation gasoline are very energy-inefficient, but they have one big advantage: they’re lightweight. Every gram matters in the aerospace industry. That’s why electrifying an aircraft is so difficult: although batteries would be much more efficient than jet… Read more »

Amprius’s silicon nanowire batteries power the Zephyr S HAPS solar aircraft

Battery manufacturer Amprius is supplying lithium-ion cells to Airbus’s Zephyr program. Using Amprius’s cells, which contain a 100% silicon anode, the Zephyr S solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recently flew more than 25 days, setting a new record for stratospheric flight. The Zephyr S is a high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS), which combines the persistence of a… Read more »

Audi says flying taxis are on the way

During the recent Amsterdam Drone Week event, Audi, Airbus and design and engineering firm Italdesign presented a flying car prototype called the Pop.Up Next. The concept combines a self-driving EV with a passenger drone, and features a passenger capsule that can be removed from its wheels and picked up by the flying drone. The prototype… Read more »

EasyJet plans to fly electric passenger jets by 2027

British airline easyJet is making progress on its plan to fly electric passenger jets on some of its routes by 2027. Its partner, US startup Wright Electric, has successfully flown a two-seater electric aircraft, and is now moving to the next stage of engine development. Wright is now working on an electric engine for a… Read more »

HES Energy Systems reveals plans for hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft

Hydrogen fuel cell provider HES Energy Systems has been developing hydrogen propulsion systems for small unmanned aircraft for 12 years. Now the company has announced plans to develop a regional hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, Element One. HES aims to release a flying prototype before 2025. The aircraft is designed to carry four passengers, and will have… Read more »

Zunum’s plug-in hybrid plane will use a turbine from Safran Helicopter Engines

Washington-based Zunum Aero is developing a plug-in hybrid aircraft, which it believes will revolutionize the regional short-haul air travel market. Now Zunum (profiled in the July/August 2017 issue of Charged) has announced that its ZA10 aircraft, which it plans to launch in the early 2020s, will use a turboshaft from Safran Helicopter Engines. Safran’s new… Read more »

Experimental NASA airplane features 14 propellers driven by 14 electric motors

NASA is building an experimental airplane in order to demonstrate that electric propulsion can make planes quieter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. The X-57, nicknamed “Maxwell,” has 14 electric motors turning 14 propellers, integrated into a specially-designed wing. NASA Aeronautics researchers hope to use Maxwell to validate the idea that distributing electric power across… Read more »