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Holidaymakers set for innovative new hybrid planes

04 February 2016 08:20

Water could be created from hydrogen batteries

Water could be created from hydrogen batteries

Holidaymakers jetting off with a low-cost airline could soon be served water created from hydrogen batteries.

Carrier easyJet claims it would potentially be the "freshest, cleanest water" available to passengers.

It is part of plans for a zero-emissions fuel system, which would involve storing a hydrogen fuel cell in the aircraft's hold.

'Absolutely pure'

Engineers at easyJet are still uncertain whether the water, produced as a waste product from the batteries, would be discarded or reused.

But Ian Davies, head of engineering at the airline, says there is no reason why the water could not be served to travellers on flights. He describes it as "absolutely pure".

Another possibility is for the water to be used to flush toilets, with Mr Davies claiming it would be wrong to simply throw it away.

Holidaymakers may feel a bit uncomfortable at the thought of drinking waste water from batteries, something which could become reality within the next decade.

But they have more pressing issues to consider when going abroad, such as finding the right travel insurance for a getaway.

Hybrid plane

Mr Davies was speaking in Venice at the launch of easyJet's latest base, where t he airline unveiled designs for a hybrid plane which could be trialled later this year.

By storing a hydrogen fuel cell in the hold of the aircraft, energy would be captured as the brakes are deployed during landing. This would then be used to power the jet when it is on the ground, similar to the kinetic energy recovery system used by cars in Formula One.

The carrier estimates around 4% of its fuel consumption is used when its aircraft are 'taxiing' on the ground.

It hopes hybrid planes could save around 50,000 tonnes of fuel for its fleet each year, equating to around 25 million to 35 million US dollars (£17 million to £24 million).