Electric flight – Alice through the looking glass?
Posted on 17th September 2019 at 12:45
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Carrying on with this month’s green theme, we were interested that electric aeroplanes featured on the agenda at the recent Paris Airshow, in response to global warming concerns.
A prototype of the world's first commercial all-electric passenger aircraft was unveiled.
Known as Alice, the new plane will carry nine passengers for up to 650 miles. Three lightweight electric motors with propellers will give the new plane distinctive appearance, compared with traditional aircraft. Orders have already been placed and Alice is expected to enter service in 2022.
With two billion air tickets sold each year for flights of under 500 miles, Alice has potential for the future. Cost will be an important consideration too; a small aircraft on a 100-mile flight could use £320 of fuel while an electric-powered flight would use around £8.
Medium-range electric flights
Developments are also underway for medium-range flights of up to 1000 miles using a combination of conventional and electric power, which would also reduce CO2 emissions by using electric power for take-off and landing.
Hybrid aeroplanes, which could provide fuel savings of 30%, are under development for use by regional airlines in the mid 2020s.
However, achieving longer electric-powered flights that contribute the most emissions, will depend on the availability of suitable batteries. So far, a solution to that problem hasn’t been found.
Tagged as: Electrical innovation
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