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EasyJet To Trial Hybrid Plane Technology

Fuel cells could power jets as they taxi to runways - with waste product water possibly used to be served to passengers.

Budget airline easyJet is to trial new "hybrid" planes using hydrogen cells that it hopes could cut its bills by up to £24m ($35m) a year.

The new technology would mean its planes could taxi to runways without using jet engines, the company revealed at an event in Venice.

Passengers could even be served water created as a waste product from hydrogen batteries used in the fuel system.

Ian Davies, head of engineering at the airline – which is already benefiting from the sharp plunge in the oil price over the last 18 months – could cut costs further with the new technology.

He said about 4% of its total annual fuel consumption was used taxi-ing at airports.

The airline has a fleet of more than 200 Airbus A319s and A320s.

It is the latest move in the battle for supremacy between easyJet and low-cost rival Ryanair.

EasyJet's new technology, which involves a fuel cell capturing energy from the aircraft's brakes when it lands, would also help reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr Davies said the waste products could be used for drinking and flushing toilets.

"This is potentially the freshest, cleanest water," he said.

The airline said it would begin ground-based trials of the hybrid plane later this year.

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Date : 02-02-2016 06:44:27