Only electric and hybrid aircraft’s are still in their infancy. However, they’re closer than you think. Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are partnering on a hybrid electric aircraft prototype, the E-Fan X, that will prove the mixture of conventional and electric engines will work. The demonstrator will modify a BAe 146 by replacing one of its gas turbine engines with a 2MW electric motor.
The trio hopes that E-Fan X will quickly “mature” hybrid aircraft and lead to an honest-to-goodness commercial single-aisle aircraft. It could be a long while before you’re flying aboard a hybrid jumbo jet, then, but this could lead to short-hop aircraft that consume much less fuel.
If everything goes smoothly, we will be able to see flying sometime in 2020.