This is what’s keeping electric planes from taking off

Aug. 18, 2022
Batteries could power planes, but weight will limit how far they fly, Casey Crownhart reports for the MIT Technology Review.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., - Startups are exploring how electric planes could clean up air travel, which accounts for about 3% of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions. The problem is that today’s electric aircraft could safely carry you and about a dozen fellow passengers only around 30 miles, according to a recent analysis, Casey Crownhart reports for the MIT Technology ReviewContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

18 August 2022 - Crownhart notes that while batteries are an efficient way to use electricity, and and battery technology is improving, mass adoption for electric flight will be limited. As electric flight gains footing, short jaunts in both urban and rural areas could provide near-term applications.

The urban air mobility segment where a handful of people are ferried around the city in an electric VTOL aircraft is gaining traction. Likewise, companies such as Heart Aerospace are demonstrating that larger passenger craft can connect remote areas, like the fjords of Scandinavia.

Heart Aerospace's aircraft have about 3.5 tons of batteries on board and can fly about 250 miles, which would enable regional flights from locations like London to Paris or Boston to New York in their 19-seater.

While electric craft can fly that distance, they also need to be equipped to be put on a holding pattern while runway issues are cleared, and it must be able to fly to another airport if there is a major issue.

“That reserve requirement is ultimately the killer,” Andreas Schafer, director of the air transportation systems lab at University College London says in Crownheart's piece.

Related: Electric flight from Mannheim to Berlin in a 19-seater aircraft

Related: Flying electric aircraft by 2024 a realistic timeframe for short-haul trips, insiders say

Related: Pratt & Whitney Canada selects H55 as battery technology collaborator for regional hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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