Electric cars are slowly (and silently) making their way into the mainstream, but what about electric airplanes?
The E-FAN, an all-electric airplane from aircraft manufacturing giant Airbus, recently made its first flight in France, according to inhabitat.
The small experimental aircraft is powered by 120 lithium-polymer batteries, and can fly at speeds up to 136 mph. Airbus claims an hour-long commercial flight on the E-FAN costs just $16, compared to $55 for a similarly-sized conventional aircraft.
However, aircraft of this size don’t leave room for tray tables. There’s only room for two in the 19-foot-long fuselage. The plane’s relatively low speed and limited flight time are also obstacles to commercial adoption.
Still, Airbus plans to continue working on the E-FAN. It will build two limited-production versions: The E-FAN 2.0 all-electric trainers, and the E-FAN 4.0 hybrid, which may be used for purposes other than training in the near future.