VoltAir shows off electricity powered plane concept at Paris Air Show that is slated for 2035

Jun 28, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- EADS is looking to release an entirely electricity powered plane by the year 2035. The plane, which has been dubbed the VoltAir, was shown off at the Paris Air Show, which took place last week. The Paris Air Show is one of the largest aviation shows in the world.

The VoltAir is going to be powered by a pair of li-ion batteries that are nestled below the nose of the . These batteries will, obviously, be significantly larger than the ones currently found in electric land and water vehicles. The power provided will then be sent to a set of co-axial, counter-rotating that are located at the back of the plane.

Since the plane will not rely on a traditional it is expected to be noticeably quieter than the current generation of planes, with the majority of the noise coming from the propellers. It also means that refueling is as simple as taking out one set of batteries and replacing them with a new pair.

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EADS says the concept could become a reality in 20 years.

Of course, the VoltAir's future is not exactly written in stone. The technology that fuels the system relies heavily on the use of several High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) materials, which are only in the early stages of development. While at this point technology has been showing rapid improvements its use of this scale is by no means a sure thing. If it does work however the prospect of a low-emission flight would certainly be an attractive one, since currently flying on a plane is one of the least environmentally friendly methods of travel available.

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User comments : 23

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zevkirsh
1.4 / 5 (9) Jun 28, 2011
anything out of europe is suspect, because science requires money, and europe is on the verge of collapse.
dirk_bruere
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 28, 2011
2035 ie never
Moebius
3.5 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2011
Amazing, never would have thought possible. If huge heavy li-ion batteries are feasible for a plane then a lighter power technology for electric planes would be a major improvement.
canuckit
4 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2011
@zevkirsh
US national debt last time I checked is around:
US$ 14,459,000,000,000
http://www.usdebt...dex.html
anything out of the US is suspect
Deesky
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 28, 2011
US national debt last time I checked is around: US$ 14,459,000,000,000

On latest figures, the total US government debt as a percentage of GDP is 94.3%.

The total government debt of Greece as a percentage of GDP is 115.1%.

Not a lot in it by those metrics and not good in absolute terms either.

finitesolutions
3.8 / 5 (4) Jun 29, 2011
The main problem : batteries.
Once battery energy density approaches jet fuel density commercial electric planes will come into production.
First private small planes will be produced and they will gradually get bigger.
italba
4 / 5 (4) Jun 29, 2011
This electric plane (http://www.skyspa...dex.php) is from Europa too, since 2009.
kaasinees
3 / 5 (13) Jun 29, 2011
US national debt last time I checked is around: US$ 14,459,000,000,000

On latest figures, the total US government debt as a percentage of GDP is 94.3%.

The total government debt of Greece as a percentage of GDP is 115.1%.

Not a lot in it by those metrics and not good in absolute terms either.



Greece should have never been accepted into the EU. All the EU fundings to greece have been a waste... but in no means does Greece represent Europe.

Idiot.
Deesky
4 / 5 (8) Jun 29, 2011
but in no means does Greece represent Europe.

Idiot.

Seems to me the only idiot here is the one drawing false conclusions from statements not in evidence.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (12) Jun 29, 2011
but in no means does Greece represent Europe.

Idiot.

Seems to me the only idiot here is the one drawing false conclusions from statements not in evidence.

but in no means does Greece represent Europe.

Idiot.

Seems to me the only idiot here is the one drawing false conclusions from statements not in evidence.


You are comparing GDP from US to Greece.

*shrugs*
Deesky
4 / 5 (8) Jun 29, 2011
You are comparing GDP from US to Greece.

*shrugs*

Yes. Not because Greece somehow represents Europe, but because much is made of how terrible things are in Greece (they are) and its junk-bond status, yet the US situation is almost as dire, but no one seems to be equally as concerned.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (9) Jun 29, 2011
You are comparing GDP from US to Greece.

*shrugs*

Yes. Not because Greece somehow represents Europe, but because much is made of how terrible things are in Greece (they are) and its junk-bond status, yet the US situation is almost as dire, but no one seems to be equally as concerned.

I think alot of people are concerned about both, just that most people can't do anything about it they wont bother with it but rather worry about their own income.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2011
Not because Greece somehow represents Europe, but because much is made of how terrible things are in Greece

Yet Greece only accounts for about 1% of European GDP (so do any of the other 'problem children' like Portugal and Ireland). Don't make the 'problem' look more serious than it is.

So pointing to Greece as saying that there is no money in Europe is just a weeeeeee bit off the mark. (And Greece is hardly the center of money or research in Europe - whatever its debt/GDP ratio)
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (9) Jun 29, 2011
Not because Greece somehow represents Europe, but because much is made of how terrible things are in Greece

Yet Greece only accounts for about 1% of European GDP (so do any of the other 'problem children' like Portugal and Ireland). Don't make the 'problem' look more serious than it is.

So pointing to Greece as saying that there is no money in Europe is just a weeeeeee bit off the mark. (And Greece is hardly the center of money or research in Europe - whatever its debt/GDP ratio)

Here it says 2%
http://en.wikiped...r_states
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2011
Point being:
Saying that Europe cannot do research or has no money for largish projects because Greece is in debt over it's head makes about as much sense as saying:

"The US isn't able to do any such thing becaues Rhode Island* is very much in debt"

(*No, I have no idea whether Rhode Island is in debt or not, but you get the idea.)

BTW: The ratio of debt to GDP of Europe as a whole and the US is pretty much identical.

Deesky
5 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2011
Yet Greece only accounts for about 1% of European GDP (so do any of the other 'problem children' like Portugal and Ireland). Don't make the 'problem' look more serious than it is.

So pointing to Greece as saying that there is no money in Europe is just a weeeeeee bit off the mark.

Geez! I wish people would read what I actually said, rather then what they think I did!

I'll put it in simple terms. I made no linkage between Greece and the rest of Europe - none. I only wished to highlight that the US is also in dire straits, not too far removed from Greece and the way things are going, the US may well default on its debt payments if the political games aren't resolved soon and the debt ceiling is raised.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (9) Jun 30, 2011
Yet Greece only accounts for about 1% of European GDP (so do any of the other 'problem children' like Portugal and Ireland). Don't make the 'problem' look more serious than it is.

So pointing to Greece as saying that there is no money in Europe is just a weeeeeee bit off the mark.

Geez! I wish people would read what I actually said, rather then what they think I did!

I'll put it in simple terms. I made no linkage between Greece and the rest of Europe - none. I only wished to highlight that the US is also in dire straits, not too far removed from Greece and the way things are going, the US may well default on its debt payments if the political games aren't resolved soon and the debt ceiling is raised.

Or they might as well get rid of private banks, nullify everyones debt, get their spending and taxation on the right track. Voila i fixed a large part of the economy.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Jul 02, 2011
Just reported about 20 posts or so for violations of the comment guidelines. trolling, troll baiting, politics, off-topic. This entire debate could be on just about any article on the site. If you want to talk international finance and politics, there are other websites for that.

Anyway. Aside from the fact that this design relies on a ton of vaporware and wishes, if that animation is to scale, it looks like it might hold about 10 passengers. It would take a whole ton of flights to get any return on investment, which means it will never get orders from airlines even if it were built.
Moebius
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2011
anything out of europe is suspect, because science requires money, and europe is on the verge of collapse.


My guess is that lack of money would affect quantity far more than quality.
Objectivist
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2011
US national debt last time I checked is around: US$ 14,459,000,000,000

On latest figures, the total US government debt as a percentage of GDP is 94.3%.

The total government debt of Greece as a percentage of GDP is 115.1%.

Not a lot in it by those metrics and not good in absolute terms either.


You say that without realizing one very important difference. As long as you keep the debt below 100% GDP it's only a matter of time before the debt is paid off; the closer you are, the longer it will take. Once you're above 100%, the debt will just grow and grow and you'll find yourself racing against the clock to get the GDP up before your debt starts spiraling out of control.

Don't mind Greece. Greece is a lost country. We Europeans are currently only observing the Greeks destroying their beautiful capital in mindless rage. The problem with Greece is not the economy, it's the mentality. They will keep demolishing their cities for a while longer as we watch. Trust me.
bobtrain
not rated yet Jul 03, 2011
Recharge the batteries by windmilling the propellers on descent and you might have something worth considering.
Husky
not rated yet Jul 04, 2011
dont let a trawl like zevkirsh turn science into political quarrel about nutting, i can appreciate science and creativity from all corners of the earth, i do wonder though, is this more than a conceptual thing, what market are they trying to serve? size/passengers/distance etc? Especially considering, the increasing use biokerosenes, my guess is that since it is a medium speed propeller plane it would fit in the short/mediumhaul citytrip/bussinestrip (e.g. amsterdam - london, frankfurt - miano)the fast replacement of feul/batterypacks would give a faster turnaround time to do more flights in a day
Husky
not rated yet Jul 04, 2011
in fact i can imagine that you not only (near) instantly switch batterypacks on the ground, but that you should have a container with already checked in passengers and dock the passengercontainer onto the plane like a freighter, considering how many time is used now for passenger to actually board a plane from the waitingroom, this would save another 20-30 minutes that could make the slower plane actually beat the faster jetplane on short distance in traveltime

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