Gizmag attended this year's Green Aviation Show (Salon de l'aviation verte) in Paris to take a look at some of the eco-friendly aircraft currently available, as well those which may be just on the horizon. Although representatives from the airship contingent were out in force at the event, electrically-powered planes and paragliders also put in a strong showing, along with some rather interesting ideas for tomorrow's oil-free aircraft.

Although the almost regal presence of a couple of interconnected Concorde passenger jets dominated the exhibition hall which played host to this year's Green Air Show at Le Bourget's Musée de l'Air et l'Espace in Paris, they were not the main attraction. Spread around and underneath these mighty supersonic aircraft were the display booths of altogether gentler, kinder and much quieter technologies that are already in use today or hold the promise of providing our air transport needs for tomorrow.

Amongst the exhibitors preparing for the post-oil era were representatives from aircraft manufacturers and development concerns, sport and leisure interests, aerospace researchers, new material developers, independent inventors and visionary designers. Outside the main hall, organizers hosted the world's first zero emission air show which saw a small number of electrically-powered aircraft brave the winds and cloud cover and triumphantly take to the skies.

A full list of attendees at the second Salon de l'Aviation Verte is available online and Gizmag will be detailing some of the exhibits in subsequent posts. But for now, here's a sample of some of the technology on offer:

The e-FunFlyer from Adventure is an 85kg fully electric paraglide trike with a 15kW electric motor powered by a 60v battery which should give the pilot a good hour or so of mid-air fun. And if the short demonstration on the airfield was anything to by, fun is definitely the operative word!

A pedal-powered silver teardrop blimp, the Zeppy 3 from Stéphane Rousson is currently being prepared for a Toulon to Calvi crossing using a "Chien de mer" and the power of the wind.

On the subject of airships, the students from Projet Sol'r also attended the event and are now busy preparing for a crossing of the English Channel.

Although the news of an upcoming solar-powered two-seater from Eric Raymond was the focus for much discussion at the show, the huge wingspan of the solar-powered Sunseeker II still held sway over the exhibit and put in an inspiring performance up in the skies too.

If an eco-friendly version of the film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines were ever to be made, then the successful blend of old and new that is the electric Demoichelle from APEV would surely have a starring role. The aircraft was on display in the main hall and made a brief appearance in the skies above Le Bourget during the zero emission air show.

Also on the airfield but doing little more than sit very still for photo opportunities, the undoubted star of the show was the four motor electric Green Cri from EADS Innovation Works and Aero Composites.

Visions of possible green futures were provided courtesy of Projet Dirisoft and Octuri.

Of course, the Musée also showcases green air transport of old too - such as this model of Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier's balloon and various winged craft, including mock ups of famous visions from Leonardo da Vinci.

Keep an eye on Gizmag over the next few days for more in-depth articles on some of technologies on display at the Salon de l'aviation verte site.

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