The post-oil era is coming fast. As concerns over climate change and the burning of fossil fuels continue, many governments, companies, and innovators around the world are getting ready for a world without oil. Efforts to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels in the aviation industry have been quite robust. The introduction of biofuels to power aircrafts is one of the most important steps forward yet there is still a lot that needs to be done to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
The idea of exploring electric flying has come to the fold to address this issue. Some of the top players in the aviation industry are teaming up with research organizations to develop electric aircrafts and there are seven models that could be coming out soon.
Vahana is an aircraft that is designed by A3, a subsidiary of Airbus. The company is based in Silicon Valley. It’s an unmanned electrical aircraft that can move a passenger or a small cargo within a city. The plane has vertical take-off and landing capabilities. This makes it possible for it to fly and land from one building to another.
CityAirbus is a futuristic design from Airbus. The aircraft is expected to launch in 2018. It is fully self-piloted and has the ability to take off and land vertically. The electric aircraft will have zero emissions and a massive reduction of noise levels.
Zunum Aero is being developed by the US aircraft maker Boeing. The aircraft is still a concept but it could actually make door-to-door travel using aircrafts possible. It’s a hybrid plane at the moment but its design allows for easy transition to full electric.
Eviation Aircraft is a nine-seater, self-piloted aircraft designed by an Israeli startup. Its range is between 100 and 600 miles and it’s fully electric. The plane can be used for small deliveries and travels within a city.
NASA X-57 Maxwell
NASA’s X-57 Maxwell is still an experimental aircraft but it’s a little different compared to the others listed above. The plane uses distributed propulsion provided by 14 electrical motors, each attached to the wings. The plane is however not that far away from its maiden flight with reports showing that it could fly as early as 2018.
Pipistrel Alpha Electro
The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is actually the very first all-electric aircraft that is already in the production phase. The aircraft is powered by a 60-kilowatt engine developed by the Swedish tech company Siemens. The plane can stay airborne for only an hour which could limit its applications.
The Wright Electric aircraft is perhaps the most ambitious of all. The aim is to create an airliner with 120-180 seats that is fully electric. The target flying range is up to 325 miles. The plane is still at its design phase but it promises to revolutionize air travel.
These are the top seven electric aircrafts that could be making their way to the market soon.