Electric Commercial Passenger Airplanes by 2044?

“W e are 20 or 30 years away from developing a big commercial aircraft,” said Detlef Müller-Wiesner, who is the head of e-aircraft programmes for Airbus Group. “It’s a question of going one step at a time.”

A regional aircraft containing 90 passenger seats operated with either fully electric or hybrid propulsion can possibly be a reality sooner.

The ultimate goal is to meet the Flightpath 2050 vision and targets for aircraft by the European Commission, which includes a reduction in aircraft carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent from the year 2000 baseline. Electric commercial passenger airplanes can certainly be a part of that vision.

More details and technical specifications are found in this press release from Airbus Group.

Faster aircraft — such as supersonic airplanes — would certainly be appealing; but I like the idea of cleaner, quieter aircraft operated by electricity…

…and imagine if the aircraft can be solar powered? That prospect may very well be possible, as at least one company has been already testing a prototype.

Perhaps passengers could contribute to powering an airplane while getting in their exercises? Guests already use exercise equipment to help provide power at one hotel property in England.

Let us go one step further: a motorcycle powered by human waste already exists. Imagine if a similar technology could contribute towards powering a commercial airplane and thereby also mitigate or eliminate the need to dispose of that waste.

Do you have any ideas or solutions which are environmentally friendly that can be applied towards travel in the future?

Image of the E-Fan airplane is provided courtesy of Airbus Group.

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