Electric cars seem increasingly likely to replace our gas-guzzling vehicles. Could a new generation of emission-free electric planes do the same to the polluting airliners in our skies--a major step in the fight against climate change?
NOVA looks at an array of promising new electric planes on the horizon and takes you for a ride in some impressive prototypes that are already in the air. We take a hop in the Kittyhawk Heaviside, a single-seat plane that can take off like a helicopter but is half as noisy and can fly for 100 miles at 150 mph. Or there's the E-Hang, an autonomous drone said to have already taken thousands of passengers on test flights in Shanghai; could "self-flying" air taxis revolutionize city transportation? But if electric airplanes are ever to advance beyond small, short-haul craft, significant hurdles of battery weight, energy storage and cooling remain to be overcome. How long will it be before the dream of super-quiet, super-efficient airliners becomes a reality?
Producer: Laurie Cahalane, Miles O’Brien, Will Toubman, Brian Truglio, David Borenstein, Ma Liyan
Executive Producer: Julia Cort, Chris Schmidt
Production Company: MOBIAS Media Inc.
Production Year: 2021
Copyright Year: 2021
Director: Miles O’Brien, Ma Liyan
Narrator: Miles O’Brien
Writers: Miles O’Brien
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 60 minutes
Number of Episodes:1
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)