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'Aviation history' made as electric plane flies across English Channel

A French pilot claims to have made aviation history after flying an electric plane across the English Channel on Friday morning. The Airbus E-fan

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'Aviation history' made as electric plane flies across English Channel

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A French pilot claims to have made aviation history after flying an electric plane across the English Channel on Friday morning.

The Airbus E-fan plane, a light two-seater twin-engine aircraft, landed at Calais in northern France after taking off from Lydd airfield in southeastern England.

The pilot, Didier Esteyne, took less than 40 minutes to make the 74-kilometre journey.

Aviation experts hope that electric-powered planes using batteries would help to cut carbon emissions significantly.

One said the possibility of commercial flights using partly electric power could be explored.

A second French pilot is said to have flown a different electric plane across the Channel on Thursday night, before the Airbus flight.