Electric Planes: The Future of Aviation
A revolution is coming in the aviation industry. You could be flying on an electric plane in the next decade or so.
Norway just tested its first electric plane with successful results. The company that developed the plane said passenger flights in the electric plane could start by 2025.
Aircraft manufacturing companies such as Safran S.A., Boeing, Airbus, and Raytheon have revealed plans to re-conceptualize the airplane with electric engines.
Boeing has developed a concept plane called Sugar Volt that runs on electricity and fuel.
Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have teamed up to develop a hybrid electric plane. They aim to have a prototype ready to fly by 2020.
One of Europe’s largest airlines, EasyJet, aims to begin service with electric-powered airplanes within the next decade.
The electric aircraft market is projected to reach over $22 billion in the next fifteen years.
The Difference Between Electric and Combustion Planes
Electric airplanes are quieter than conventional planes. They also have a higher climb rate. This means they’re able to maintain stability at higher altitudes. Traditional airplanes don’t fare so well at such high altitudes.
The International Civil Aviation Organization predicts that aircraft generated emissions will triple by 2050. The biggest benefit of electric aircraft is that it has virtually no carbon footprint.
Electric airplane tickets will also be cheaper because of no fuel consumption.
The current problem with electric planes is that the batteries are heavy and have limited range. The batteries that power the next generation of airplanes need to be smaller, safer, and lighter. However, companies are working on overcoming these problems.
It may be a while until commercial planes are powered by electric batteries because the technology is still being worked on. Moreover, the change is going to be gradual starting from small two-seater planes to bigger commercial planes.
Despite slow progress, aviation companies are positive about the transition. The Californian company Wright Electric predicts that passengers could be taking battery-powered flights within a decade. They believe the change will come through its partnership with Easyjet.
“For the first time in my career, I can envisage a future without jet fuel,” Easyjet chief executive officer Carolyn McCall told The Guardian.