When we talk about transportation, we come across a lot of modes but the most suitable, used, and a time-efficient way to travel is by air. Air travel is an established way of life for billions around the world. It is a result of continuous innovation and research, and today it stands as the safest way to travel. But a continuous push to novelty means planes will also be subjected to further advancements.
The 20th century has seen the birth of aviation. One thing common in all the planes made in a hundred years is their fuel. Each plane needs to burn massive amounts of carbon-based fuel such as kerosene or gasoline. Today, planes not only carry passengers, they are also responsible for carrying freights all across the globe. The bigger the plane, the more fuel it will need to burn and produce energy. With the diminishing resources of our planet, this is not at all healthy. Soon all the oil wells will dry, leaving all the flight-worthy aircraft grounded. Even if there is some time in completely exhausting our oil resources, there is always a factor of global warming which can never be avoided. For these reasons, the future of aviation is in search of the alternate power source. Can that be electricity? We will discuss it on this blog.
With depleting resources, our world’s focus has shifted significantly from clean and reusable energy. For instance, the automobile industry has invested billions in hybrid technology and electric cars. This technology can evolve from one mechanism to another and people are working on it. There are more electric aircrafts today than they were sometime before. Today, we are witnessing the production of jet-powered planes that make the most of electricity for all the aircraft systems. The idea behind it is to ominously decrease fuel consumption by increasing overall fuel efficiency. In easy terms, manufacturers are reducing the weight of the airplanes and designing fuselage more aerodynamically to reduce drag. These methods can save a lot of fuel, but ultimately that not going to suffice when oil wells dry.
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The progress to ecological aircraft requires long-term solutions, which is why it is time to give a considerable thought to the future of electric planes. The never-ending thirst for advancement has led to huge improvements in reliability and performance. It has helped commercial aviation to grow on a scriptural scale. Today, intercontinental flights take some hours to reach their destination as compared to a lifetime in the past. But in spite of these performance and reliability progressions, airplanes have contributed a lot to the environmental degradation and noise pollution. With a competition of reaching the destination in the shortest amount of time, the motivation to go green is less obvious. It’s a shame that we have shifted our focus to electric energy after the depletion of our natural oil resources, not for the conservation purpose.
A dream of electric planes and clean skies
Lately, there have been some major developments in the electric aircraft industry. Solar-powered Endurance planes have generated a lot of positive response from the people and manufacturers. Recently, one has completed the first round the world flight. However, we are still a very long way from the first maiden commercial electric-powered jet flight. It is really a challenge to all the aircraft manufacturers, and a race still open to win by manufacturing the first fully electric aircraft.
A fully electric powered aircraft is still a theory, which can only be achieved by working on a hypothesis. But aviation industry can get its inspiration from automobile industry as they first developed a hybrid car before developing a fully electric car. As a matter of fact, German researchers and scientists are currently working on a high-performance hybrid aircraft called the e-Genius. This is just a step towards a fully electric powered jet, but nonetheless a step in the right direction.