Why Electric Airplanes Aren’t A Thing

Electric Airplane Alice Experimental Electric Aircraft
Airplanes have been using jet fuel since the history of human flight started. With the advent and boom in popularity of electric cars and trucks replacing conventional fossil fuel vehicles. You can’t help but wonder, is commercial flight next?
In this article, we’ll explore why electric airplanes aren’t a thing, yet. And what does the future hold for this technology.

What are the benefits of an Electric Airplane?

An electric airplane runs on electricity instead of fossil fuels. There are many benefits to using electric aircrafts, including a reduction in pollution and noise levels. Electric airplanes potentially also can be much cheaper to operate than traditional aircrafts. Electric motors are less complex and do not require much maintenance compared to combustion engines.
The technology for electric planes is still in it’s early stages, but it holds great potential. With continued research and development, electric airplanes may one day become common.

Are Electric Airplanes Practical?

There’s no denying that electric airplanes sound incredibly fascinating. The idea of a quiet, emission-free aircraft powered by a rechargeable battery is very appealing. But unlike electric cars, electric commercial aircrafts are not yet a reality due to a several challenges.
The main challenge keeping electric airplanes from becoming a reality is energy density. The weight of the batteries with respect to the battery power they can produce is still too high to be feasible in a large aircraft. As reference, for a given weight, the best Lithium-ion batteries have about 14 times less usable energy than the currently used Jet Fuel.
For an aircraft, mass is critical, that’s why airlines anxiously weigh luggage and are quick to charge additional fees for any extra weight. Electric airplanes would need enough energy per kilogram of battery weight to be able to fly, which is simply not realistic at the moment.
But even with all these limitations, that didn’t stop researchers from experimenting with small size, slow, short range electric aircrafts and hybrid electric planes. With some electric airplanes even running on solar power and gliding around the planet without any fuel. Learn more about the experimental Solar Impulse 2 Here.

The future of environmentally friendly flying

The future of transport is looking more and more electric. With the rise of electric cars and the advancing technology of Lithium-ion batteries. You’d think it was only a matter of time before electric aviation started taking off. And while they’re not quite ready for commercial use.
The prospect of a much more environmentally friendly flying that produces lower emissions is enticing. Electric planes would also be much quieter than traditional planes, which would be a huge advantage for people who live near airports.
But in reality, unless batteries can become more energy dense and provide the same range as traditional airplanes. commercial Electric powered aircrafts may never take off.
The most feasible way to make the aviation industry greener may not be electric flight. But instead, the use of green jet fuel, known as Sustainable Jet Fuel (SAF). SAFs are recycled or manufactured from renewable resources, making them much more environmentally friendly than conventional Jet Fuels. To learn more about Sustainable Jet Fuel, check our previous article on the subject: Sustainable Aviation Fuel, A Path To A Greener Future