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Electric Aircraft

The VoltAir is a concept all-electric airliner, that could be flying within 25 years (Phot...

One of the displays that has generated a lot of buzz at the Paris Airshow 2011 is EADS’ ZEHST concept – a zero-emission hypersonic airliner, that could be whisking passengers from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours, by the year 2050. Sitting alongside the ZEHST model, however, is another EADS concept aimed at the more immediate future. It’s called VoltAir, and it’s a proposed all-electric airliner that could be flying within 25 years.  Read More

The electric powered eGenius concept demonstrator on its successful maiden flight

An electric powered aircraft demonstrator has taken to the air for the first time with a 20-minute flight from Mindelheim, Germany. Intended for entry in the NASA funded CAFE 2011 Green Flight Challenge, the eGenius concept's single tail-mounted propeller is driven by an electric motor producing a maximum of 60 kW at 2,000 rpm and can travel at cruising speeds of up to 235 km/h (146 mph) with a range of up to 400 km (248.5 miles).  Read More

Solar Impulse has successfully completed its first international flight (Solar Impulse dur...

Solar Impulse has successfully completed its first international flight. After spending most of last week on standby waiting for favorable weather conditions, the Swiss solar powered aircraft made the run from Payerne to Brussels on Friday 13 May in a flight that lasted 12 hours 59 minutes. Hats-off to the Solar Impulse team!  Read More

HBSIA during flight testing in Switzerland (Photo: Solar Impulse)

Solar Impulse is on standby for its first international flight this week. Brussels has been chosen as the destination for the first venture outside Swiss borders, which follows the solar powered aircraft's maiden flight and first overnight flight last year and will mark another important step towards the goal of flying around the world in 2012.  Read More

E-Flight Electric Waiex begins the takeoff roll

Sonex Aircraft’s proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex sports aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight. The flight earlier this month follows four years of development of the aircraft, with the data to be used to determine if any firmware adjustments are needed before proceeding to full traffic pattern and extended-duration test flights.  Read More

Future of Electric Vehicles conference a buzzing success

This week saw the Future of Electric Vehicles USA 2010 conference take place in San Jose, California. Billed as “the world's only event that covers all forms of electric vehicles – land, water, and air,” it included a series of presentations on new technologies, an exhibit hall, and master classes that featured trips to nearby Silicon Valley tech development firms. Gizmag was one of the main sponsors of the event, and we were there to learn more about what’s happening in the world of EVs. Here’s a quick look at some of what we took in.  Read More

Electravia's ElectroLight and ElectroClub

While it may be some time before we see electric propulsion used in commercial airliners, at the other end of the scale, business is booming. The biggest problem facing designers is the weight-to-energy ratio of fuel cells, meaning that they are a heavy way of carrying around energy. Luckily in the light aviation world, designers don't have to worry so much about having long flight durations or carrying heavy payloads. This has made achieving electric and hybrid flight not only possible but also accessible to the average aviator.  Read More

The Boeing SolarEagle will make its first demonstration flight in 2014 as part of DARPA's ...

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vulture program, which aims to develop and demonstrate technology to enable a single high-altitude unmanned airplane (UAV) to operate continuously for a period of five years, has entered phase II. Under the terms of an US$89 million contract, Boeing will develop a full-scale demonstrator called the SolarEagle that will make its first demonstration flight in 2014. The aircraft will have highly efficient electric motors and propellers and a high-aspect-ratio, 400-foot wing for increased solar power and aerodynamic performance.  Read More

Hardly a sound from the counter-rotating propellers as the Green Cri takes to the air

When Gizmag paid a visit to the Paris Green Air Show in June, there was one craft on display that seemed to steal the show. The Green Cri aerobatic electric airplane hadn't even left terra firma, yet was surrounded by eager onlookers for much of the time it was there. Now the four-engined prototype has returned to Le Bourget airfield for its maiden flight in the sunny skies above Paris.  Read More

Sikorsky Project Firefly technology demonstrator

Officially announced at AirVenture 2010, Sikorsky's Project Firefly sets out to demonstrate the feasibility and showcase the benefits of electrically powered helicopters. The technology demonstrator is based on an S-300C light helicopter, with a 190-horsepower electric motor replacing the standard piston-engine and lithium ion battery packs added to either side of the cabin. The result is a significantly more efficient system that – although it's expected to fall short of typical helicopter performance when the first flight takes place later this year – is just the tip of the iceberg for the new era of manned electric rotorcraft.  Read More

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