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Cambridge boffins and Boeing fly first hybrid airplane over British skies


The video explains it pretty well, the example aircraft would normally need a 17kw engine to provide enough power for take off, but cruise would only use about half that (which means the engine has to be tuned for a wide operating range, rather than optimum efficiency in a small range).

The hybrid runs a much small engine (7kw), this means it can be kept in a small operating range making it more efficient. The batteries drain during take off, once established in the cruise you run the engine at a little over the power you need to recharge the batteries in case you need maximum power or have an engine failure.

So it's not like a road hybrid were the batteries are frequently being charged/drained as road conditions dictate, but rather by the phase of the flight.

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