The Anonymous Widower

2.7M Tonnes Of Co2 Could Be Saved Per Year If UK Domestic Flights Went Electric

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Simple Flying.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Analysing over 100 domestic routes within the UK, researchers have uncovered some significant Co2 reductions upon the inevitable switch to electric.

It is an excellent summary of the state and potential of electric airliners in the UK.

The article gives this example of the sort of carbon savings, that can be achieved.

One of the shortest domestic flights in the United Kingdom, a 38-minute hop between Belfast International and the Isle of Man, uses around 36kg of carbon dioxide per passenger. In 2019, the route served approximately 20,000 passengers – with a switch to electric aviation, 752 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be cut on the 76-mile flight.

The article says this about one of the more developed electric aircraft; the ES-19 from Heart Aerospace.

One manufacturer, in particular, is seeing a significant surge in interest; Swedish electric aircraft startup, Heart Aviation. Currently holding letters of interest from United Airlines and Finnair, Heart’s 19-seat ES-19 is set to be the first all-electric regional aircraft, boasting a 400km range with a full-charge time of just 40 minutes. The first flight is planned for 2024, with an anticipated 2026 start date.

Airports within a 400 km range from London would include.

  • Anglesey
  • Blackpool
  • Exeter
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Leeds/Bradford
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newquay
  • Norwich
  • Paris
  • Schipol

Dublin, Isle of Man and Newcastle are just over 400 km.

Note.

I also suspect that Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool would make excellent hubs for electric aircraft.

I used Free Map Tools to get the distances.

 

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Eviation Says Cape Air Will Take 75 Alice Aircraft

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Flight Global.

Orders in the Wikipedia entry for the Eviation Alice says this.

The first buyer for the Alice was Cape Air, a regional airline serving the Northeastern United States as well as the Caribbean. In August 2021, Deutsche Post announced that it had ordered 12 aircraft for use by DHL to transport cargo, with delivery planned from 2024. In April 2022, Eviation stated that Cape Air ordered 75 planes.

It does look like this innovative aircraft could be ready for more than just a first flight.

Applicability To The UK

I have a feeling, that we’ll see a lot of five-to-nine electric aircraft in the UK, as we have lots of islands and quite a lot of small airports.

The Alice has a range of around 500 miles, which is useful, but the take-off run of 800 metres could be a limitation on some islands.

Conclusion

I can’t wait to fly in an Alice.

April 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , | Leave a comment

Alice, The First All-Electric Passenger Airplane, Prepares To Fly

The title of this post, is the same as this article on CNN.

It looks like the first flight is just weeks away.

This paragraph describes the aircraft and compares it to a Boeing 737.

With battery technology similar to that of an electric car or a cell phone and 30 minutes of charging, the nine-passenger Alice will be able to fly for one hour, and about 440 nautical miles. The plane has a max cruise speed of 250 kts, or 287 miles per hour. For reference, a Boeing 737 has a max cruise speed of 588 miles per hour. The company, focused exclusively on electric air travel, hopes that electric planes that can fit 20 to 40 passengers will be a reality in seven to 10 years.

Fully electric flight on short routes is a lot closer than we think.

Note, that 440 nautical miles will give sufficient range from London to Amsterdam, Belfast, Cork, Frankfurt, Inverness and  Paris.

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

CEO: Alice Electric Commuter Airplane’s First Flight Days Away

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Flying Magazine.

The Eviation Alice prototype has certainly been spotted taxiing on the runway and the CEO has said it won’t be long before the first flight.

I have a feeling that this aircraft is going to be a winner.

  • It’s got a lightweight structure.
  • The aerodynamics look to be right.
  • It has received firm orders from quality companies, like Cape Air, DHL and United Airlines.
  • It would be the ideal corporate aircraft for the green billionaire who wants a toy!
  • It looks sexy like Concorde.

I also think that the range, performance and capacity could fit travel patterns well in the UK and Ireland.

Conclusion

I’m looking forward to my first flight.

January 11, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Spirit of Innovation’ Stakes Claim To Be The World’s Fastest All-Electric Vehicle

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release on the Rolls-Royce web site.

This is the first paragraph.

We believe our all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, setting three new world records. We have submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation who control and certify world aeronautical and astronautical records – that at 15:45 (GMT) on 16 November 2021, the aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometres, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph). In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds, according to our data. We hope that the FAI will certify and officially confirm the achievements of the team in the near future.

Rolls-Royce also claim that the maximum speed achieved of 387.4 mph make it the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

To put that speed into perspective, it is faster than a Mark V Spitfire, which was powered by a legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. These aircraft were powered by a Merlin 45 engine that generated 1074kW.

By comparison the Spirit of Innovation has a maximum power of just 400 kW.

Why Do It?

This paragraph from the press release gives an explanation.

As well as a stunning technical achievement, the project and world record runs provided important data for our future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’.

I’ll go with that, as Rolls-Royce seem to be associated with several electric aviation projects.

But I can’t help feeling that there are parallels with the 1930s, when Supermarine and Rolls-Royce teamed up to produce the Supermarine S 6B, that won the Schneider Trophy outright in 1931. It is generally accepted that the knowledge gained at the time helped to design the Spitfire and the Merlin engine.

November 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Wright Electric Announces Plans For 100-Seater Electric Aircraft

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

It is an article well worth a read about Wright’s plans to convert BAe 146 airliners into electric airlines.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft Offer Fresh Perspective For Sustainable Travel

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

The article puts forward the view of Jenny Kavanagh, Chief Strategy Officer, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions.

They are developing Project Fresson, which appears to have switched from electric to hydrogen propulsion. In the article Jenny Kavanagh says it is showing more promise and in the Wikipedia entry for Project Fresson, there is a section on hydrogen power, which details the switch.

As the article in The Engineer and the Wikipedia entry for Project Fresson seem to agree, I would assume that that the Wikipedia entry is being updated.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Shocks Away! RAF To Fly Electric Planes

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The RAF is evaluating the Slovenian-built Pipistrel Velis Electro for use as a training aircraft. I learned to fly in a Cessna 150 and the Pipistrel Velis Electro seems to be a modern reincanation of that and similar classic designs.

  • It seats two normal people side-by-side.
  • It has a high wing.
  • It has a fixed tricycle undercarriage.
  • It is built from composites, whereas the Cessna was aluminium.
  • It seems to have been carefully designed.
  • It has full certification.

I would love to have a flight in one.

As the Danish Air Force are already using the aircraft for pilot training, I suspect that it might suit the RAF.

But then there are quite a lot of battery-electric under development and there may be a better one.

But there is no denying that the Pipistrel Velis Electro is a good aircraft to start the procurement process.

November 7, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak Defends Lowering Domestic Air Duty

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

The chancellor has said his Budget – including tax cuts to air tax – will help the government meet its net zero carbon targets.

Rishi Sunak used his Budget to slash taxes on domestic flights, which is forecast to lead to 400,000 extra air journeys a year.

I think he could have gone further.

It is my belief that the first area of aviation to decarbonise will be the short-haul sector.

We are seeing electric aircraft being developed like the Cessna Electric Caravan, Eviation Alice and Project Fresson.

Perhaps, domestic flights in true zero-carbon aircraft like these should be free of Air Passenger Duty?

It might even speed their introduction.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment