Electric planes are beginning to take to the sky

In a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it was stated that aircraft have been responsible for about 8% of the entire greenhouse gas emission of the country’s transportation sector. This alarming development, coupled by a global demand for a greener aviation, is a huge reason why some manufacturers are beginning to consider building electric planes, says aviation professional Scott Beale.

Image source: latimes.com

A conventional jet airplane has an engine that draws in air through the front, a compressor for squeezing it, and fuel that’s sprayed in and lit, allowing for the burning of gases and the plane’s thrust. An electric plane, on the other hand, relies on batteries that provide power to an electric motor which spins the propeller.

However, while electric planes are definitely more efficient, they tend to be slower as the battery-reliant (often lithium-ion) process allows for far less thrust. In any case, there should be huge improvements in aviation technology in the coming decade, from reductions in operating costs and fossil fuel burning to emissions. In fact, NASA already has a prototype electric propulsion plane in the X-57.

Image source: chicagotribune.com

There’s also the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2, which successfully circumnavigated the globe at average speeds of 47mph. Even Airbus has already revealed a two-seat electric plane that travels at speeds of 136mph.

In truth, the idea of using electric motors has been around since the World War II, when B-29 bombers used this technology to power the planes’ gun turrets. For now, a more concerted effort is needed to get greener and completely embrace electric aircraft. But their reign is imminent; not only a greener but a quieter way to fly should arrive sooner than projected, adds Scott Beale.

Aviation and aerospace professional Scott Beale is skilled in commercial sales and aviation products marketing, government contracting, and business startups. More on Mr. Beale and his work here.


Electric planes: The dawn of a new age in aircraft technology

Industry giants Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have set 2020 as their target year for trying out a commercial aircraft that was modified to allow semi-battery-powered flight. This plane, which will be partially run on electricity, will be called the E-Fan X, which people may recognize as a modified BAe146 (100-seater).

                                            Source: cleantechnica.com

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens hope that this new electric plane could be the commercial aircraft of choice in the future. In fact, they hope that more companies will follow suit and adapt this technological change as early as 2025.

The plan is to replace one of E-Fan X’s four engines with a two-megawatt electric motor, and see how it handles, or if there are any substantial changes to the aircraft’s range. If none are seen, then there is a huge chance that two engines could be replaced by electric motors.

The coming together of the three major companies wasn’t a coincidence, as each of them will take on a specific role in the creation of this hybrid plane. Airbus will integrate the new engine with the flight controls. Rolls-Royce will create the engine, its two-megawatt power source, and the electronics to power it. And Siemens will provide the network for power distribution.

                                           Source: independent.co.uk

Scott Beale has been a business leader in the aviation industry, turning around some big-name companies for the better. For more industry updates, check out this site.