Say hello to EADS's VoltAir-- a zero-emission airliner that looks to be the future of air travel providing all-electric service within 25 years. Along with its "Concord-of -the-future" brother EADS' ZEHST concept, VoltAir was one of the displays that generated a lot of buzz at the Paris Airshow 2011. While the ZEHST hopes to make London to Tokyo 2.5 hour flights by year 2050, VoltAir has presented itself as a the more attainable and closer future of commercial aircraft.
"VoltAir’s electric energy storage system (essentially two next-generation batteries) will power highly efficient superconducting electric motors that drive two co-axial, counter-rotating shrouded propellers mounted at the rear of the fuselage.
A radical approach to airframe design results in excellent aerodynamics and low weight, thereby requiring a minimum amount of energy for propulsion. Combined with the promising developments expected in electric propulsion technologies, the VoltAir concept could pave the way towards ultra-quiet and emission-free flight."
Combined with the promising developments expected in electric propulsion technologies, is the key. Don't get too excited.VoltAir's idea is rock solid with the only problem being the technology to make electric motors is still not completely developed.
From Fast Company:
"There's just one flaw: The tech to make the electric motors doesn't quite exist yet. It's not far off, though, and EADS--the designers of the plane--think it's possible they'll be available relatively soon (definitely sooner than the far distant first-flight of Zehst, for sure)."