riczero-b April 30, 2014 05:27 AM Brilliant to see this, surely the shape of things to come....the powered undercarriage wheel is an innovation; how about an inverted trolley car pickup to a live rail on the runway? This could reduce onboard power consumption for take off and also enable battery recharging whilst awaiting ATC green light. If this gave tracking problems maybe a broad conductive strip could work. Eventually of course you would use a linear accelerator. Bob809 April 30, 2014 05:46 AM Great idea and nice to see a large company like this take the first (commercial) steps into another era of aviation. watersworm April 30, 2014 06:23 AM A far better idea than Solar Impulse, whatever astonishing SI is... Airbus involved in a more realistic approach, almost as good for future technological implements with a cost divides by thousands compared with SI. However a far less "breaking news" for the medias worlwide ! WagTheDog April 30, 2014 09:49 AM Deja vu! It's the Bede BD5E for the New Age! BigGoofyGuy April 30, 2014 09:59 AM I think that is not only green but also cool. I think a fuel cell would help recharge the batteries but also give extra energy when needed. Thin flexible light weight solar panels could help recharge the batteries. Chris Goodwin April 30, 2014 01:11 PM P.Specs lite ? One hour. OK AND: Speed? Range? Carrying capacity? Max altitude? Nos. of passengers ?How am I supposed to be impressed ? jerryd April 30, 2014 01:22 PM Now how did they screw this up so badly? Just by going to more normal props they would have far more thrust/wt.smaller dia, ducted or not, is less eff because having to turn so much faster in the fan/small version, it loses too much to air friction.Turning 2 4x's the dia props gives almost 4x's the thrust/hp. Thus why helicopters have large, slow turning rotors.And in an EV plane you can't afford to give that much up. Just that alone could double range.Nice motor the landing gear trick though by no means new. Paulinator April 30, 2014 01:54 PM Airbus raided the coffee-fund and spent the money on a technological place-holder. There is nothing revolutionary or even evolutionary about the airframe or prime mover(s). Current battery technology is the limiting factor which is not scalable, nor is it practical using any other metric. Let's watch for the advent of hyper-capacitors that are due as a result of developments in the field of nano-technology. That will change aviation (both commercial and private) overnight. Independent Energy LLC April 30, 2014 02:17 PM Great progress... now for the next step; reduce the size and weight of the battery and utilize a developing new on board generation technology that is as efficient as hydroelectric. This will enable a smaller battery to last significantly longer while providing the same relative thrust. The result is significantly increased range. Airbus: Let us show you how this is possible. kelvint63 April 30, 2014 02:18 PM Looks a lot like the James Bond Silver Bullet! Something a accrued to me when I read that the rear wheels has electric motors that helps getting it up to take-off speed and reduces some of the load on the engines... Why couldn't the same think be done with Commercial Airliners? The additional weight of the batteries would be offset by the less fuel needed for taxing and take-offs. Electric Motors has instant torque and the technology has advanced to the point where they are strong and small enough to be placed in the wheels. As a bonus; regenerative breaking can help recharge the batteries every time the plane lands!