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April 2007 edition

Boeing to test manned aircraft powered by lightweight batteries

Boeing researchers and industry partners in Europe plan to conduct experimental flight tests this year of a manned aeroplane powered only by a fuel cell and lightweight batteries. "It is part of our effort to develop environmentally progressive technologies for aerospace applications," says Francisco Escarti, md, Boeing Research and Technology, Europe (BR&TE). The systems integration phase of the Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane research project, under way since 2003, was completed recently at BR&TE. "Thorough systems integration testing is now under way in preparation for upcoming ground and flight testing," says Escarti. "Given the efficiency and environmental benefits of emerging fuel cell technology, Boeing wants to be at the forefront of developing and applying it to aerospace products....

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