PHOTO CAPTION: Airbus E-Fan to attempt crossing of English Channel

Airbus E-Fan To Make English Channel Crossing

Two-plane trainer prototype will be second electric airplane to attempt crossing of the English Channel with flight attempt scheduled for July 10, 2015.

Published: 10-Jul-2015

First unveiled at the 2013 Paris Airshow, the two-place Airbus E-Fan all-electric trainer prototype will attempt to fly from France to England across the English Channel on July 10th, weather conditions permitting. Powered by lithium-ion batteries housed in the wings, the plane has a flight endurance of about 1 hour. With a cruise speed of around 100 mph (top speed of 137mph/220 km/h), the flight should be achievable depending on the location of the departure runway and destination airfield in England.

Despite headlines about the E-Fan flight being the first electric plane crossing, AeroVironment's Solar Challenger, powered by sunlight, actually can lay claim to that distinction. Interestingly, that flight covered 163 miles, which means it flew further than the E-Fan, with its faster speed, can fly. Departing from Corneille-en-Verin Airport, north of Paris, France the single-place solar plane flew for 5 hours and 23 minutes to Manston Royal Air Force Base in Manston, UK. Average speed was a leisurely 30 mph.

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