Airbus' latest experimental aircraft 'E-Fan' has successfully taken to the skies for its maiden flight in France. The eco-friendly flight, powered by electricity took off from an airport close to Bordeaux in south western France. Developers believe that their maiden flight could cut down the cost of air travel by a third.
E-Fan, manufactured by Toulouse-based Airbus, measures about 19 feet and makes less noise. The flight can stay in the air for about 45-60 minutes, if its 120 250V Li-ion batteries are powered. The batteries are stored in the wings of the plane and its backup batteries last for about 15 minutes, ANI News reported.
E-Fan is powered by 120 lithium-ion polymer batteries. A commercial flight with E-Fan can cost just $16, compared to petrol-powered plane of the same size that costs $55, Inhabitat.com reported.
The electric E-Fan training aircraft is a highly innovative technology experimental demonstrator based on an all-composite construction, Airbus said on its website, as reported by Times of India.
"The E-Fan project and Airbus Group's commitment to the field of electric and hybrid research show our vision of future technological developments," said Jean Botti, Airbus Group chief technical officer.
"It will not only lead to a further reduction in aircraft emissions and noise to support our environmental goals, but will also lead to more economic and efficient aircraft technology in the long run," said Botti.
Airbus aims to manufacture two new versions of the E-Fan. The two-seater E-Fan 2.0 version will be solely used for electric training aircraft purpose, while E-Fan 4.0 will be used for both general flight and training purposes.
Airbus Group and its partners are intending to undergo research and development to create a series of E-Fan versions.
Though, the plane looks like a stunt aircraft at present, Airbus hopes that proper development of the plane can turn it into highly advanced technology like nuclear-powered planes.