Airbus, Rolls Royce And Siemens Come Together To Make A Hybrid Plane


It has become a norm to see hybrid cars like the Prius on the roads and it is no longer a cause for fascination. A hybrid plane, however, is a cause for fascination and is something that has never been seen before. That might change as Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Siemens come together to develop a hybrid plane to carry passengers.

These planes would have part electric engines and part conventional jet fuel engines, and we might see them take flight in the next 3 years. The plan is to use a single electric engine along with three conventional jet engines running on aviation fuel.

The electric engine is expected to cut down the noise as well as reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which contribute towards global warming. The industry has been making the movie towards quieter engines for quite some time. The electric motors in the planes could allow more night flights over cities.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The hybrid plane is the first major step in cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the airplanes. The trio of companies plans to have demonstration plane ready by 2020 and a production model by 2030. The aircraft would be based on the existing BAe 146 four-engine regional jet and can be capable of carrying 50-100 passengers.

If the system is a success in testing, plans to add a second electric engine are in place. Air travel is already responsible for 2 % of man-made carbon dioxide emissions but this is expected to triple by 2050 as more and more people start traveling by air and the demand keeps on growing. The next 20 years will double the number of passengers.

The European company Airbus would be given the responsibility of building the aircraft’s systems into a working whole, control systems, and flight controls. The task of making the turbo-shaft engine and the generator falls to Rolls Royce while the German company Siemens will deliver the electric motor to power the engine.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The companies want to meet the goals of the European Union of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 % and to reduce the noise from the sky but they believe that it “cannot be achieved with the technologies existing today.” We will have to wait and see, as they finish their hybrid plane. We might see other companies follow their example very soon.


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