British low-cost airline Easyjet aims to become a pioneer in the field of electric mobility in air transport. The company recently unveiled plans for a plug-in hybrid aircraft to fly on the route between Amsterdam and London starting in 2030. But now we go a step further. An electric aircraft that is in no way inferior to conventional machines is set for take off in the distant future.
Easyjet e-plane: the road is still long
Easyjet’s goal in about 20 years, we are talking about 2040, will have airplanes in its own fleet that will fly with electricity instead of kerosene. Can you stick to this schedule or even let an electric plane take off? Currently fully open. Either way, Easyjet and Wright Electric’s plans are ambitious. However, they are by no means unrealistic, because technical progress cannot be stopped.
The project is particularly noteworthy in the context of a completely new aircraft engine being developed. But that’s not all, the aircraft itself has to be completely overhauled for this new engine. And by the way: to this day, the batteries required for medium-haul aircraft are simply not yet available. It has yet to be finally clarified whether aircraft battery technology will rely on lithium that is rarely available in the future. Fuel cell technology would also be conceivable for driving.
Soil testing is scheduled to begin in 2021
Plans being presented now state that the Wright 1 concept aircraft will be equipped with a 1.5 megawatt electric motor and a 3 kilovolt inverter. A total of twelve electric motors must be integrated into the wings. It’s also notable – a typical aircraft tail unit is completely dispensed with in current plans. Wright Electric plans to conduct ground tests on its new unit in collaboration with BAE Systems starting in 2021. The first flight tests are scheduled for 2023.
Easyjet boss Johan Lundgren is confident that electric mobility cannot be stopped in aviation either. “Battery technology is advancing with the support of many US agencies that fund electrical aviation research.” Jeffrey Engler, CEO of Wright Electric, said, “Our mission is to make commercial aviation greener.” Our megawatt motor program is the next step in realizing our mission. ”