That electric planes are a reality is something that needs to happen urgently, since conventional planes are currently one of the vehicles that have the most negative impact on the environment.
Unfortunately, building an aircraft with engines that use renewable energy is not as easy to do as it can be with cars or other means of transport. However, there are options, and VoltAero is perhaps the proof that very soon passenger planes will also be electric. In fact, this company already has a plane with a hybrid engine that flies through the skies.
The French manufacturer has begun flight tests for its electric hybrid aircraft called Cassio. These planes are powered by two electric motors in their wings and two combustion engines in the fuselage.
But according to the company, those two combustion engines on the fuselage are there only for safety reasons. They have conducted approximately 20 hours of air tests and plan to remove the front combustion engine and replace the rear combustion engine with the company’s own hybrid-electric engine.
The final idea is to have a system of three 60 kW electric motors accompanied by a 370 hp internal combustion engine. This last one, besides helping in the propulsion, will be in charge of recharging the batteries of the electric ones. As far as autonomy is concerned, they estimate between three and a half and five hours of continuous flight, with speeds of up to 200 knots, as can be seen in the following video.
Size remains the great limitation of the electric planes
VoltAero conducted the tests with a relatively small aircraft, six seats in total. In fact, the French company plans to produce hybrid electric planes with between four and nine seats.
To tell the truth, it is the size, the great limitation of electric motors that cannot, so far, compete with the internal combustion engines that lift modern planes through the air.
While other companies have also produced their own aircraft with electric or hydrogen engines, none have so far succeeded in making a large aircraft fly with these engines as modern commercial aircraft do.
Large airlines like Delta, for example, are looking to reduce their impact on the environment. They will not stop using combustion planes, because they are aware that technology does not allow this today, but instead they will use the “carbon-neutral” trick by which they subtract their carbon emissions from the atmosphere through other means.
However, while all this becomes a reality, we can only hope that the science of electric or alternative motors will evolve as soon as possible, to see if we can finally reduce the air pollution that causes so much damage to this planet.