I got my Pilot’s License a long time back and there’s nothing like Commanding your Own Flight. Taking the Controls and FLYING. It’s FUN. But the one thing that surprised me was the fact that the Plane Industry wasn’t keeping up with the needs of the Industry for New Pilots. The plane you might be flying in might be 20 or 30 years Old. I found that disappointing. But the Electric Planes are Coming! So are electric Boats.
After years of development and tantalising demonstrator projects, electric aircraft are on the horizon to make emission-free air travel a reality.
A host of aviation companies have set their sights on landmark firsts, and 2022 could prove a watershed year for the emerging technology.
With demand for air travel beginning to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, those at the forefront of electric aviation believe the technology will play a critical role in reducing emissions by providing an alternative to harmful short-haul flights – which have a bigger carbon footprint per passenger than longer flights.
California-based Wright Electric announced its plans to begin flying a 100-passenger all-electric airplane on routes of 1 hour or less by 2027. How does it expect to do that? By converting BAe 146 regional aircraft — originally manufactured by BAE Systems in 1983 — to electric power starting in 2026.
“Electric aircraft can cover distances at less cost than a truck without any carbon dioxide emissions, and with much less noise, they can operate at night over high-density urban environments like L.A.,” he says.
Powered by lithium-sulfur batteries being developed by Oxis Energy, a U.K. startup that says it’s achieved a leap in energy density over conventional lithium-ion cells, Bye says the eFlyer 800 will have a maximum range of 500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 320 mph.
But-Oxis Energy, a U.K.-based developer of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries for applications including electric aircraft, has entered into administration and is selling off its patents. … Last month, Oxis was announced as the battery supplier for Bye Aerospace’s planned eight-seat electric airplane, the eFlyer 800.May 25, 2021
But the Electric Planes are coming.
Wisk is developing its sixth-generation aircraft, and expects to be the first-ever U.S. candidate for certification of a flying electric taxi. The company, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and New Zealand, has set a goal of operating “one of the industry’s largest fleets” of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft within five years of certification.
Wisk launched in 2010 as Zee Aero and later merged with Kitty Hawk, a venture backed by Google co-founder Larry Page. In June 2019, Kitty Hawk and Boeing announced a strategic partnership to continue developing electric planes and six month later Wisk spun out of the original effort. Wisk is an independent company backed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk.