As electric aircraft gain momentum, so does the need for more accurate information. Electric airplanes set new records, broke long-range air travel records, captured the public’s imagination, and brought buyers from major airlines to small manufacturers. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the challenges that remain in electrically powered aviation, as well as some of the trends that are developing. Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of how this technology will impact the future of air travel.
One of the biggest challenges in electrically powered aviation is the battery technology used in them. Until recently, progress on battery technology had been slow, and progress is still lagging behind what would be called “peak performance” for passenger planes. However, improvements have been made. Here’s why:
The flight rate for electric aircraft is critical to customer satisfaction. As battery technology improves, planes will fly faster and more efficiently. Peak performance is when the battery can supply enough power for the take off, full engine burn, flight home, and the landing. Without the need to recharge batteries regularly, these represent the most efficient means of using energy on an airplane. Today, advances in battery technology are resulting in much better levels of efficiency, which should lead to more reliable levels of electrification for electric aircraft.
All-electric aircraft also experience less adverse impacts from severe weather conditions, especially in their land operations. Modern all-electric designs can withstand strong thunderstorms, icing snow, and extreme cold temperatures. Although some older designs may need to be reconfigured for these conditions, modern designs can operate safely and reliably in virtually any weather condition. Many pilots have expressed concerns over safety operating an electric aircraft in humid or wet air. However, improvements in the design of hybrid-electric engines are making it possible for all-electric aircraft to be flown in standard aviation conditions even when wet.
In addition to the more economic benefits of electrification, many executives and scientists believe that increased safety is the main benefit of electric airplanes and that a future without them would be a major mistake. Electric horizontal take-off (HTOs) allow for shorter take-off times, less runway congestion, and improved airport operations. Electric vertical take-off flights can also reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution. Because an electric vertical take-off doesn’t require oil, water, or gasoline, it is one of the most cost-efficient forms of commercial aviation, according to some estimates.
Another advantage is the fact that there are far fewer injuries associated with taking off and landing a battery-powered plane. Many crashes result from pilot error or mechanical problems related to poor planning. With a battery-powered engine powering the plane, there are far fewer chances for human error or mechanical failure.
If you are worried about the environment, there are solutions at hand as well. There is now a new type of hybrid-electric airplane that doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These planes use a sort of “sealed battery” to power the aircraft; this prevents harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. This technology is currently being tested on RTF (ready to fly) prototypes.
One of the biggest concerns for potential passengers is noise. Most modern electric and hybrid-electric powered planes are much quieter than their gas-and-oil powered counterparts. A quieter cabin will eliminate some of the concerns you might have for taking a flight in an aircraft that is not electric. There is also the matter of fewer safety concerns as well. Electric powered airliners are generally not as likely to stall and burn up on take-off or landing. They also fly slower than their gas-and-oil fueled counterparts, so they deliver faster passenger and freight transportation options.