Airbus' parent company EADS says its all-electric experimental aircraft has performed its maiden flight. The Cri-Cri, the first four-engine all-electric plane, is the latest effort to develop a battery-powered aircraft with performance comparable to light, piston-engine airplanes.
EADS says the single-seater made its official maiden flight at Le Bourget airport near Paris on Thursday.
The Cri-Cri's lithium batteries give it 30 minutes of autonomous flight at 66 mph (110 kph).
There have been significant improvements in the endurance of electric propulsion systems for light aircraft in recent years. A number of firms in the evolving field are working on new designs, including one by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, which is likely to become the world's first electric helicopter.