Today, when we think of an electric vehicle, we most certainly don’t think of an electric aircraft. Instead, we probably go straight to thinking about Tesla and its enigmatic leader Elon Musk. The company has been revolutionising electric road vehicles for years now.
But it may come to your surprise that electric flying vehicles are firmly within our grasp. It’s not a concept for just the future anymore! Electric aircraft are being built and tested as we speak, and some private pilots already have access to electric airplanes.
This article will go through the evolution of electric aircraft. Let’s begin!
The Rise of Electric Vehicles
To understand why there has been an obsession with creating electric aircraft in the aviation industry, we first need to look at the history of electric vehicles in general. More importantly, we need to understand why electric vehicles are being built.
It’s quite simple really! The main reason that many engineers and pioneers like Elon Musk have been focusing on electric vehicles is for our environment. Planes and cars currently contribute a lot of greenhouse gasses to our atmosphere.
This has been a long-standing problem, and the invention of electric vehicles can ease up those emissions quite a lot. This is why engineers in the aerospace industry have been trying to build electric aircraft.
How Do Electric Aircraft Function
An electric plane requires many different forms of engineering than that of an electric car. An electric car simply needs a battery pack and a charging station. In fact, much like a mobile phone you can use to play at an NZ online casino on, an electric car simply needs to be plugged in to charge up, and then it’s good to go. However, an electric aircraft needs enough power to be propelled into the skies. So, how have engineers worked around this?
Well, the three main sources of electric power being used to build electric aircraft are:
- Solar cells
- Microwave energy
Which of these are the most powerful remains to be seen. The battle for the future of electric aircraft, however, seems to be between battery and microwave-generated energy. Solar cells are a cleaner form of electricity generation but are simply not sustainable over the long term.
Furthermore, the inclusion of chargeable battery packs could revolutionise and change the aviation industry as we know it. Planes can only go so far due to fuel constraints. But, if you include a chargeable battery pack and onboard power supply, we could more than triple the distance that an average private plan can travel.
Electric Aircraft – Ready for Takeoff?
So, how far are we from seeing the first-ever electric aircraft takeoff before our eyes? Well, we are truly not that far. In fact, many private engineering companies have started marketing and production on private electric planes!
Orders have been placed and buying pilots are on standby for the newest in airplane technology. Commercial flights being electrified might still be a bit further down the pipeline.
However, the future is now, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the aviation industry was completely electrified over the next 20 – 50 years.