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Boeing successfully tests battery-powered plane

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 5, 2008 in Technology
Boeing flew a hydrogen battery-powered plane for the first time in aviation history. Company officials said there is a promising future for such planes.
The plane, which used propellers, flew at a top speed of 100 kilometers an hour for about 20 minutes at an altitude of about 1,000 meters. It was fully powered by hydrogen batteries, and Boeing did this test flight (shown in the video) in the central Spanish town of Ocana.
Francisco Escarti, the director of the Boeing research center in Ocana, Spain, said the hydrogen battery technology could be the main source of energy for a small passenger plane, but for big passenger planes it may be used as a secondary source of power.
He told AFP:
The company will continue to explore their potential as well as that of all durable sources of energy that boost environmental performance,"
John Tracy, Chief Technology Officer for Boeing in Ocana said this was a historical flight for Boeing and holds a lot of promise for a greener future.
The airline industry is exploring alternate fuels to fossil fuels as a way to care for the environment and cut down on cost.
Boeing’s new passenger plane, the Dreamliner, used high-tech composites instead of metals to reduce its weight, and as a result it consumes less fuel than similar-sized planes.
This is a baby step by Boeing, but it's hopefully something we will see more of in the future. Further research into combining batteries and solar power could also enable planes to travel longer distances at greater speeds.
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