In this weeks episode of Fully Charged Robert Llewellyn gets a VIP invitation to witness the Aibus E-Fan battery powered electric aeroplane cross the English Channel.
First flown in April 2014, the plug-in plane is powered by two electric motors with a combined power of 60 kilowatts each driving a variable pitch fan providing a static thrust of 1.5 kN which is an engineering first on an electrically powered aircraft.
The motors are in turn powered by a 250V lithium polymer battery pack made by South Korean company Kokam. The batteries are housed within the inboard part of the wings parallel to the cockpit providing an endurance of between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
The batteries can be recharged in one hour.