World’s first parallel hybrid engine plane takes flight
Moving on from hybrid cars and on to the next level is this hybrid plane developed by Boeing in association with Cambridge University. On its first maiden flight at Sywell Aerodrome in Northampton, the success of the plane that is capable of being recharged in mid-flight elated everyone present.
The single-seated plane is powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system that uses 30 percent less fuel than conventional planes. The plane works on the same principle as hybrid cars and during its lift-off although it had a few hops but in the end managed to fly 1,500 feet over the ground.
During take-off when maximum power is needed, the plane uses petrol power and electric power while in flight only electric power is used. During the same time by switching onto generator mode the electric motor gets recharged.
According to Dr. Paul Robertson of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, this is an important step towards the development of fully-electric aircraft that is capable of carrying passengers and cargo. But that is still a long way to go since the current prototype version can only stay airborne for a few minutes.