EA – Electric Aircraft and Future Materials
Currently, most prototype electric aircraft are not worth it. It’s not that they don’t work, they sure do; they can take off, land and fly. And they are much quieter, which is great when traveling inside a small light aircraft, not to mention noise reduction issues in nearby invasive communities. The problem with electric airplanes at the moment is the range, it is not a new problem, but it is widespread. The plane simply runs out of power and the batteries are completely discharged before you have a reasonable time in the air.
Of course, in the future, advanced battery technology will take care of this problem, as batteries will have more power and less weight. Obviously, in a light aircraft weight is paramount, and the lighter the load, the better the range and the less energy is needed to propel the aircraft to height. What do I think are the prospects for electric light aircraft? Well, let’s talk about that if we can.
This technology will come thanks to advances in materials science, especially when it comes to advanced materials used in battery manufacturing. We can only make the aircraft so light with carbon compounds, but the batteries have to be light too. Jet fuel weighs about 7 pounds per gallon, and for the same amount of energy produced, batteries are much heavier.
Maybe we need to bring battery technology to the drawing board. I actually have an idea. Think of a foam-like solution that is spread out as a fractal pattern that fills all the empty cavities in the wing and fuselage. Then imagine the wings of carbon nanotubes, made up of graphene that collect friction from the electron trade as the relative wind travels over the skin, helping to hold some of the charge, which is not enough to propel the aircraft, just prolong the voltage, trickle charge. I constantly think we need to rethink this, and if anyone wants to take this to a higher level instead of talking about how great it will be once the new materials science solves the battery weight problem.
Right now, a lot of electric aircraft prototypes are being flown, and some of them are doing quite well, but none of them have the range to compete with jet fuel in reciprocating engines, much less jet turbines or turboprops. Perhaps there will come a day within this decade when battery technology can catch up, but we will have to rethink how we do things, we will have to go back to the drawing board, and we will have to get serious about reengineering. our future of electric aircraft to bring the NEXT GEN for general aviation. Consider all of this and think about it.