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PHOTO CAPTION: Kyushu University engineering team successfully flew this scale model of future electric corporate aircraft.

Electric Corporate Airplane Goal of Kyushu University Researchers

Four-to-six passenger airplane would use twin ducted fan motors and have a endurance of up to 2 hours, offering the potential range of 500 km.

Published: 23-Jan-2014

Researchers at Kyushu University have plans on the drawing board to develop a small electric aircraft for use as a private plane or airborne taxi.

Having conducted a successful test flight with a 1:10 scale unmanned test plane, the researchers are now making basic designs for a full-scale model to be completed within the current academic year. Despite numerous obstacles, which include securing research funding and safety issues, the researchers are confident they can make a commercially viable aircraft.

The work is being done by a research group led by professor Shigeru Aso of the Graduate School of Engineering, who specializes in aerospace fluid dynamics, and the Kyushu Koku-Uchu Kyokai (Kyushu aerospace association), a private-sector organization formed by aviation experts.

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