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Electric Powered Aviation. Electric Flight Era & Commuter Aircraft
In this video I provide a brief overview of the latest developments in electrically powered aviation.
Electric powered aviation is shaking up the aerospace industry. While the road transport industry has focused on the electric car (with varying amounts of success), attention has now turned to electrically powered aircraft.
The driving force behind this development is the need to reduce global aviation’s level of greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only does the aviation industry have to achieve this (and quickly) for current volumes of air traffic, but also for future growth. It’s going to be a lot easier to sell the idea of a new runway at Heathrow or an entirely new airport if you can assure people that at least some of the aircraft using it will be cleaner and quieter.
The stark commercial reality is that passenger numbers could fall if the aviation industry doesn’t invest in the development of hybrid and all electric aircraft.
However, satisfying consumer demand is certainly not the only benefit. As well as cleaner flights, electric aircraft could fill a gap in the market that exists right now, namely intercity commuter flights to alleviate the congestion on major road routes.
The Big Players.
There are numerous businesses and key individuals who have put their might behind electric-powered aviation technology.
The Israeli company Eviation brought their prototype all-electric passenger aircraft Alice to the Paris Airshow early in 2019.
The aircraft is powered by three rear facing pusher engines, one on each wingtip and one on the tail.
The first version of this aircraft will be unpressurised and aimed at the air taxi market. It will have a crew of two and seating for 9 passengers.
The second pressurised version with a more powerful battery is expected to be launched in 2023.
The aircraft has already received orders from companies like Cape Air, who currently have 90 aircraft in their fleet.
While companies like Eviation are focused on building new electric aircraft from scratch, others are working toward converting an existing fleet to electric designs.
This is certainly true for Harbour Air who are working with magniX to convert their own fleet. These hybrid designs would mix conventional aero engines and electric power.
Continued in the video…
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Eviation Alice at the Paris Air Show by Matti Blume – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79787062
All other images of the Eviation Alice are Copyright Eviation – https://www.eviation.co
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