Could this be the future of air travel? easyJet reveals concept designs for hybrid plane

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easyJet has been working with students to develop a hybrid plane that uses a hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold

Budget airline easyJet is probably best known for its gaudy orange livery and cheap flights to holiday destinations than for being a technology pioneer. But all that could be about to change.

The no frills airline has taken inspiration from students at Cranfield University – a global leader in education and research in technology and management – who were asked to develop ideas for what air travel might look like in twenty years’ time, as part of a competition to celebrate easyJet’s 20th birthday.

easyJet will now work with its industry partners and suppliers to apply the cutting edge technology much sooner (but don’t expect it to be in place on your next holiday!)

The hybrid plane concept utilises a hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold. This innovative zero-emissions system allows energy to be captured as the aircraft brakes on landing and is used to charge the system’s lightweight batteries.

This is much like the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) found in Formula 1 cars.

You can see a video of how the technology could work below.

Chris Price