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France starts banning short-haul flights, cracks down on private jets

France has received the green light from the European Commission to start cracking down on ultra-polluting short-haul flights within the country, starting with a ban on three popular flights from Paris-Orly Airport. The country also aims to curb the use of private jets in an effort to both reduce CO2 emissions and keep up the social media backlash against the super-rich jet set in a time of soaring inflation and energy cutbacks.

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EGEB: US airlines boost their 2030 target for sustainable aviation fuel by 50%

sustainable aviation fuel

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • US airlines boost their 2030 SAF target from 2 billion to 3 billion gallons.
  • Clean energy has a diversity problem, a new study confirms.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.
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NASA will spend the next 4 years innovating electric passenger plane transport with the 175mph ‘X-57’

nasa-electric plane

NASA today unveiled plans to spend the next decade working on electric planes under the ‘X-57’ moniker. The X-Plane program has traditionally been used by NASA to further aviation so this is a big deal more than just a pet project or some 3D renders.

P2006T_GenView

petrol version

The plane which is also called ‘Maxwell’ to honor James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th century Scottish physicist who did groundbreaking work in electromagnetism, will be based on the Italian Tecnam P2006T, a very efficient 4 seat light aircraft (pictured above). NASA will do away with the wing and petrol engines and replace them with a super-efficient thinner wing and 14 electric motors. The smaller 12 motors will only be used for takeoffs and what we can probably assume is regen during landings. The larger 2 engines on the end of the wings will propel the plane during cruising which is expected to be a solid 175mph. The Tecnam has retractable wheels and a 1500-foot take off distance which should make it a good base for an EV makeover.

There are a lot of things to unpack here… Expand
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Larry Page is secretly behind two electric aircraft startups, financing them with over $100 million

ehang 184 2

Earlier this year, we wrote a profile on an interesting startup, Zee Aero, developing a battery-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft near Google’s X lab. The company caught our attention when it started hiring talent from NASA, Tesla and Stanford.

At the time, we couldn’t confirm where the money was coming from, but today we learn that Alphabet’s billionaire CEO Larry Page is secretively behind the electric aircraft startup, reportedly financing it with over $100 million, and even setting up a competing startup, Kitty Hawk, to test another model.

The group’s proximity with Google led a lot of people to believe it was financed by the tech giant, but in fact, Page is financing the initiative himself and not through Alphabet or Google Ventures.  Expand
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An all-star team of former NASA/Tesla/Stanford engineers is building a promising VTOL electric aircraft

zee header patent

A startup operating mostly in stealth mode for the past 6 years has been developing a very interesting battery-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which could potentially be described as a “flying car”.

Just over two years ago, some early prototypes were spotted at the company’s facility near Google’s X lab, now called the Moonshot factory, which sparked speculation that Google was financing the project. Not much was known about the company then, but we did some research after finding out that it went on a recent hiring spree and we are now bringing you the most up-to-date report on this promising project.

Zee Aero was founded by Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford and former NASA Researcher at Ames Ilan Kroo. He recruited a surprising number of students and colleagues from both organisations to launch his startup, which looks more ready than ever to debut its aircraft.

We’ve heard about flying cars supposedly coming to market for years now. It appears to be one of those “always in the lab” technology and although the term “flying car” could potentially apply to what Zee is working on considering the vehicle is shown in patent applications literally parked in an average looking parking space, simply looking at it as an aircraft is more useful here. Especially considering its differentiating features are almost as impressive on an aircraft as it would be on a car, namely its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capacity and more importantly, the fact that it’s powered by a battery pack. Expand
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Airbus’ E-Fan is the first electric plane to successfuly fly across the English Channel

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Airbus accomplished an historic exploit last week when their E-Fan concept, a manned electric plane, crossed the English Channel to be the first battery powered plane to do so, 106 years after Louis Blériot made the first crossing with his monoplane. The 37 minute flight itself might not seem that impressive, but considering the current state of electric propulsion, it is a hopeful glimpse into the future of electric air transport. Expand
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