The Airbus E-Fan took off from Lydd airfield in Kent and became the first twin engine electric flight to cross the English Channel on 10 July, landing in Calais, France.

Professor Simon Bradley, head of the Airbus Global Innovation Network, said it was a historic day in the companys history, more than 100 years after Frenchman Louis Bleriot completed the first flight across the English Channel in 1909.

Were obviously always pushing the boundaries. This is the very first time we have flown an all-electric aircraft over the water, across the Channel, he said.

Airbus test pilot Didier Esteyne completed the flight in 37 minutes and said that piloting an electric flight felt different from traditionally powered aircraft.

Its closer than a glider. Of course, there is a little bit of noise, but less than any other aeroplane first and also, there is no vibration at all. Its smooth and its very quiet. Thats very important. Its a pleasure to fly this plane, he said.

The E-Fan is a light two-seater aircraft, weighing 600kg; it can reach a maximum speed of 220km per hour.

Professor Bradley said that people shouldnt have safety concerns over electric powered flights.

These days, people use batteries in all the devices they have at home. They have batteries in their mobile phones; the batteries we are using today are standard lithium batteries. They are not anything strange. I think people will take it when it has been certified and when it has been proven to be safe. This is one step on that journey, he said.

Its hoped that electric powered planes would help to cut carbon emissions significantly from flying.