First electric flights cross English ChannelPublished: Friday, July 10, 2015

An Airbus craft became the second electric plane to fly across the English
Channel today, just hours after an independent French pilot beat the
aviation company to it.

The 20-foot-long, 1,300-pound E-fan plane flew from Lydd, England, to
Calais, France, a 31-mile journey, on battery power alone this morning. But
12 hours before, French pilot Hugues Duval flew his one-seat, two-engine
220-pound Cricri plane from Calais to Dover, England, and back. He had his
plane towed at the start of the trip because he didn't have authorization
to take off from Calais.

The fight for "firsts" in electric flight has heated up in recent years as
the technology quickly develops. Airbus hopes to have a hybrid-electric
100-seat plane available within 15 years, it said.

"It's a great victory, but it's also a start. For us it's an adventure that
permits us" to imagine commercial flight on electric or hybrid planes, said
pilot Didier Esteyne, who flew the Airbus plane today. "It's really the
beginning of great innovations" (Maggy Donaldson, AP/Fort Worth
July 10). *-*

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