Lonely Planet Writer

easyJet’s hybrid planes to make air travel more eco-friendly

European airline easyJet this week disclosed a new design concept for a hybrid plane that could significantly cut costs for the airline as well as making flying more eco- friendly.

EasyJet increases connections to Iceland. Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0.
EasyJet has come up with a new design that cuts fuel costs and CO2 emissions at the same time Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0

The carrier is to trial the use of hydrogen fuel cells on their aircrafts which would be equipped with energy-absorbing brakes that create reusable power during landing.

Digitalspy.com reports that the combination of hybrid engine and new brakes would reduce carbon emission and fuel consumption on every flight and this in turn would lower airline costs.

CNN News said it was estimated that the new concept could lead to easy Jet’scurrent fleet being converted into hybrids without the extra cost of buying new aircraft. On top of that, the station says the carrier could save up to 50,000 tons of fuel per year with similar savings on CO2 emission.

The whole concept is the brainchild of easyJet’s engineering director, Ian Davies, who enlisted aid from Cranfield University students in Britain to assemble his prototype.

He described what they had come up with as “a vision for the future” as it challenged suppliers and other aviation partners to aim for new goals in reducing carbon emission.

The plan is to design a new hybrid plane into which easyJet it will embed a hydrogen fuel cell. The special new brakes will absorb energy on landing which can then be reused and could even power a plane without using engines through taxiing.

The airline plans to test their new technology during the year.