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Great Electric Airplane Race | NOVA

Airplane flying through blue sky

Wed. May 12 at 9 pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Electric cars seem increasingly likely to replace our gas-guzzling vehicles; could a new generation of emission-free electric planes do the same to airliners?In the Great Electric Airplane RaceNOVA looks at an array of promising new electric planes on the horizon and takes you for a ride in some impressive prototypes that are already in the air. We take a hop in the Kittyhawk Heaviside, a single-seat plane that can take off like a helicopter but is half as noisy and can fly for 100 miles at 150mph.

There's the E-Hang, and autonomous drone said to have already taken thousands of passengers on test flights in Shanghai; could "self-flying" air taxis revolutionize city transportation? However, if electric airplanes are ever to advance beyond small short-haul craft, significant hurdles of battery weight, energy storage and cooling remain to be overcome. How long will it be before the dream of super-quiet, super-efficient airliners becomes a reality?

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

NOVA is the most-watched primetime science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly. Now in its fifth decade of production, the series remains committed to producing in-depth science programming in the form of one-hour documentaries and long-form mini-series, from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the deepest mysteries of the natural world.

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