In recent news, Airbus Group SE completed its first flight across the English Channel with and electric plane, as illustrated above from Keep reading to learn more!

The Airbus prototype that was used recently for the flight across the English Channel was a two-seat E-Fan demonstrator plane that’s powered solely by lithium batteries. The flight took 36 minutes and started from Lydd in southern England and traveled to Calais, France.

What is propelling the idea of electric airplanes? Overall, the aviation industry is being increasingly scrutinized for their impact on the environment. In fact, in June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the carbon emissions from airlines as a contributor to climate change.

With that announcement, the airline industry is under pressure to make flying more efficient and environmentally friendly in an effort to align with the new regulations that could be ready as early as 2017.

Much of the effort to reduce the carbon emissions is focused on utilizing newer engines and lighter, more aerodynamic materials to build more efficient aircrafts that use biofuel technology, which mix cooking oil or even plant oils with regular jet fuel.

Though Airbus is known for its commercial passenger jets, their E-Fan 2.0 prototype aircraft is an all-electric aircraft that claims to be the first “plug-in plane.”

Airbus’ two-seater prototype plane is capable of speeds of up to 136 miles per hour, has a 31-foot wingspan and can only stay in the air for about an hour. However, during that hour, there are zero carbon emissions and it’s nearly silent.

By 2050, Airbus wants to create a 100-seat electric passenger plane.  Though that seems far-fetched since the technology is not where it needs to be, Airbus forges ahead and is using the E-Fan technology to build electric aircraft training models for flight schools.

As of late, a four-seater E-Fan 4.0 is in the works and is scheduled for production by 2019.

Check out this video for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Airbus E-Fan 2.0 prototype:

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