Electric passenger planes could become a reality in just under 10 years, the founder of a solar-powered aircraft project says.
The co-founder of a project that saw a solar-powered aircraft complete the first fuel-free flight around the world this year expects electric passenger planes to operate in just under 10 years.
Bertrand Piccard, along with fellow pilot Andre Borschberg, founded Solar Impulse and since completing their historic fuel-free flight in July, they have been working on projects to show how the technologies used in their plane can be used in other applications.
Borschberg said they were especially interested in how the technology could be used to develop small electric planes with a flying time of about 1.5 hours. The two plan to announce their next project early next year, Borschberg said.
"In 9 years and 8 months, you'll have 50 people travelling short-haul on electric planes," Piccard, founder and chairman of Solar Impulse told an IATA airlines association briefing in Geneva.
"Why 9 years and eight months? Because since four months, I've been saying it will be '10 years'. It will happen," he added.