Latest Developments in Electric Aircraft

Aviation Needs to Change

The Latest Developments in Electric Aircraft travel is responsible for 2.4% of all CO2 emissions today, and it has an even larger overall contribution to global warming due to other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contrail cirrus. Despite the critical need to curb the effects of global warming, demand for air travel has been growing at about 5% a year in the last decade (except during COVID-19 lockdown periods). According to recent development Aviation practices need to change in other to improve the quality of life. A research carried out in 2018, reviewed that over 4.4 billion passengers took 120,000 daily flights in 2018  increase to 7.2 billion by 2035 which would increase aviation emissions to 11% of anthropogenic GHG.

Significant Challenges Remain for Electric Aviation

There are several regulatory and technological challenges to overcome for electric aviation to be a reality thus, this article focuses on technological challenges, which can be summarized under batteries, electric motors, and airframe integration. All three of these areas are currently immature fields of research and development, with no concept close to commercial viability. As a result, the future of electric aircraft – and whether there even is a future – remains highly uncertain. The current state-of-the-art battery technology does not deliver enough energy density to be suitable for flight.

How Could Electric Aircraft Become a Commercial Reality?

To bring electric power to aviation in the short term (and the emissions reductions that this would entail), it is necessary to identify a feasible combination of available technologies. Small-scale aircraft, for example, may benefit from hybrid-electric propulsion systems, which have already contributed to emissions reductions in the automotive industry. However, this kind of system is likely not applicable for large-scale or long-haul flights due to the limitations of current battery  technology 

The Future of All-Electric Aircraft

All-electric aircraft would create no emissions and, if charged from renewables, use no fossil fuels. As well as being potentially much less environmentally damaging, all-electric aircraft would be practically silent and cheaper to “fuel” and maintain. The Electrical Aircraft configuration is much simpler than hybrid architectures which includes the turboelectric propulsion in which the only power source required would be batteries, because it can be charged from a renewable energy sources.

As is the case in many areas of energy innovation, innovations in battery technology may lead to significant and critical disruption in the aircraft industry. They could help save the planet from the worst effects of global warming.


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