The Anonymous Widower

Electrified Regional Air Mobility Will Be Disruptive & Mature Rapidly In Coming Years

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Clean Technica.

It is very much a must-read article, where the author analyses technology and how it will affect regional aviation.

He comes to the conclusion, that electric aircraft will develop much quicker than autonomous systems and full digital air traffic control.

He feels that we’ll see rapid development of electric aircraft flying traditionally with a pilot in charge, who talks to air traffic controllers.

Effectively, this is the system that was in operation, when I used to fly my Cessna 340 all round the UK and Western Europe thirty years ago.

Adding in electric aircraft to this system, is very similar to adding a car with a certified alternative power source  to the traffic of the UK.

I think this means, that electric aircraft need to have a pilot on board to be certified, as any certification involving passenger will have to be as risk-free as possible.

The article mentions Electron Aviation. The author describes their operational model like this.

Electron Aviation, for example, sees that a 4-seater, one-pilot plane can become the workhorse of a regional short-haul leisure and business travel on-demand flight service in the second half of this decade, with planes coming to a small airport near customers, who are delivered by electric Ubers at either end. The economics work out with electric airplanes where they don’t with current internal combustion planes.

As Electron’s UK address is in Mildenhall in Suffolk, which is close to the UK horseracing centre of Newmarket, I know from my past experience that their model of four-seat air-taxis certainly works in the racing industry.

The specification for their aircraft looks impressive.

  • Very aerodynamic with a high aspect ratio wing.
  • Tricycle retractable undercarriage.
  • Twin-pusher propellers.
  • 186 mph cruise at 10,000 feet.
  • 466 mile range.
  • Low noise.
  • Zero emissions.

Looking at the visualisation on the home page of their web site, I suspect that the battery is at the centre of lift in the middle of the plane to give excellent flying characteristics.

I also think, that their concept is scalable and that a larger aircraft could be built to a similar layout.

Conclusion

I am happy to agree with the author’s conclusion, that electric aircraft will revolutionise regional aviation in a short space of time.

 

 

February 5, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

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