Fly Electric – The Age of the Electric Aircraft has Arrived

Since the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk the mainstay of propulsion for aircraft has been the internal combustion (IC) engine. Now significant improvements in battery technology are making it possible to fly electric airplanes on batteries.

WHY ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT?

There are two factors why electric aircraft are a compelling technology – Environmental and Engineering.

Environmental

Stricter regulatory emissions standards are pushing electric aircraft development as they are far easier to achieve by this route.

Engineering

  • Electric motors are significantly mechanically simpler
  • Intrinsically more reliable
  • Can be fully enclosed from weather
  • Require less maintenance
  • Without IC engine vibrations to absorb, electric aircraft airframes can be lighter.
  • Vibration drives airframe fatigue so, fewer inspections are necessary.
  • Electric motor performance is not affected by the same environmental factors eg. temperature and air density
  • Positioning, orientation and the number of electric motors is far more flexible.
  • They can be mounted in different locations to improve aerodynamics.
  • Thrust vectoring can be used to reduce, or eliminate, control surfaces
  • reducing maintenance and lowering drag on the aircraft.
  • An electric airplane can recharge during descent with the motors becoming generators.
  • Regenerative soaring is a unique capability to harvest the energy from updrafts to extend range.
  • It’s estimated that this source of in-flight recharging should exceed solar panels by 10 times.
  • Electric aircraft are safer in an accident as they don’t carry flammable jet fuel.

Many electric planes are being developed around the world.  Airbus is producing the e-fan. Boeing has been researching electric aircaraft for NASA. The Skyspark is a very fast electric plane.  Performance is rapidly improving.

We hope you enjoy our latest video –  Fly Safe, Fly Green, Fly Electric – The Coming Age of the Electric Aircraft.