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Since there is a strong pressure on airlines and plane makers to reduce their carbon emissions from this industry one question remains: are electric planes ever going to be the future? With the way technology is currently progressing why aren’t these aircraft already a reality?
The truth is that these aircraft are still a few years away from ever being considered for production. Headed by the pandemic there have been fewer flights which of course reduces the emissions and people have already been seeing the benefit so it would make sense to invest heavily in these planes. This year there was an advancement when a Caravan was able to complete flight which is rumoured to be the largest aircraft of this type to complete a flight. But why has there only been one of them?
The main reason for them being so hard to be economically viable is because of their batteries. With fuel tanks, they have an empty weight and a load weight. After a long flight, fuel is burned which reduces the overall weight which is why a plane will fly higher towards the end of their flights. But with batteries, it still has the same weight even if it is empty. Take RocketLab for an example. They drop their batteries from their rockets once they become empty since it will become dead weight. Now that wouldn’t be the best thing for commercial aircraft since they wouldn’t burn up when dropped from 40,000 feet.
So, in reality, electric planes can be the future but it is still a long way off before we will even see any aircraft capable of being a commercial aircraft that an airline would have been interested in. Some experts are saying that 2030 - 2040 will be the decade where we will see the introduction of commercial electric aeroplanes. What do you think?