Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens working on electric-hybrid plane

Three major European companies are teaming up to develop a hybrid passenger plane that uses an electric turbofan along with three conventional jet engines.

The plane is an effort to develop and demonstrate technology that could help limit emissions of carbon dioxide from aviation and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce said they aim to build a flying version of the E-Fan X technology demonstrator plane by 2020.

The aircraft would be based on a BAe 146 four-engine jet. The hybrid version would generate electric power through a turbine within the plane, which would be used to turn the fan blades of the electric turbofan engine.

If the system works a second electric motor could be added, the companies said.

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