Electric 'Airbus' takes to the air

2010-09-02 21:33
The Cri-Cri, the first four-engine all-electric plane during its maiden flight over Le Bourget, north of Paris. ( Thomas Jullien/EADS, AP)

The Cri-Cri, the first four-engine all-electric plane during its maiden flight over Le Bourget, north of Paris. ( Thomas Jullien/EADS, AP) (Thomas Jullien)

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Paris - Airbus' parent company EADS says its all-electric experimental aircraft has performed its maiden flight.

The Cri-Cri, the first four-engine all-electric plane, is the latest effort to develop a battery-powered aircraft with performance comparable to light, piston-engine aircraft.

EADS says the single-seater made its official maiden flight at Le Bourget airport near Paris on Thursday.

The Cri-Cri's lithium batteries give it 30 minutes of autonomous flight at 110km/h.

There have been significant improvements in the endurance of electric propulsion systems for light aircraft in recent years.

A number of firms in the evolving field are working on new designs, including one by Sikorsky Aircraft which is likely to become the world's first electric helicopter.

Read more on:    france  |  research  |  air travel
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