The Future of Electric Aircrafts

In 2016, the Solar Impulse 2 made history when it completed a flight around the world, making it the first electrical-powered circumnavigation. The success of this flight means that the vision of an electrically-powered commercial flight is now a possibility.


The manufacturing company Siemens predicts that by 2050, electric aircraft will become an industry standard. Already, electrification is moving much faster than anticipated. Siemens is currently working to bring electric planes into the marketplace, beginning with a small aircraft like their Extra 330LE which was used in 2017 to set a world climb and speed record in electric airplanes. The all-electric powered Extra achieved a top speed of 211 mph and climbed 9,800 feet in four minutes and 22 seconds.


Norway has a quicker timeline, believing that all of their flights will be electric by 2040. Head of state-run Avinor, which operates many of Norway’s airports, Dag Falk-Petersen thinks as soon as 2025, electric passenger flights will be offered.


The switch to electric flights will reduce the amount of fuel used, resulting in reduced emissions and a cleaner environment. Currently, airplane emissions account for 3 percent of total EU greenhouse gas emissions.


Not only would electric airplanes help the environment, they also offer benefits to passengers. Electric planes would mean cheaper tickets, less noise and a higher rate of climb. Electric engines can maintain performance at higher altitudes, where a standard combustion engine operates less efficiently.




While there are a lot of benefits to electric aircraft, the change isn’t without a few challenges. At the current rate of battery and electric engine technology, it won’t be until 2030 that commercial flights use even hybrid electric aircraft.


Creating a practical cooling system is another problem facing electric aircraft. Thermal management for these systems will require a system that can reject 50 to 800 kW of heat in flight. Materials will have to be developed for improved thermal performance, and a lightweight system needs to be designed for power electronics cooling.


A third challenge comes in the form of batteries. Batteries cannot yet provide the power-to-weight ratio needed. For batteries to reach a point where it is feasible to work in small-scale aviation, they will need to achieve five times their current density. Battery density is currently rising by 2 to 3 percent per year, meaning there is progress in this area.

Rick Perry Confronts Obama

City and State to Issue Proclamations to Texas Motor SpeedwayIn a bold move, Texas Governor Rick Perry has declined an official White House offer to greet President Obama when he lands at Austin’s airport tomorrow.  Perry, who has been an open critic of Obama’s policy for handling the US-Mexico border, wrote to the President asking for a more “substantive meeting”.  In the letter, Perry claims that a “quick handshake” on the tarmac of Austin’s airport won’t allow for a meaningful discussion about the crisis occurring on the US-Mexico border.  Rather, he would like to have a sit-down with the President while he’s in Texas for a two-day trip to attend Democratic fundraisers in Dallas and Austin.  Yesterday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest downplayed criticism that Obama would be raising money instead of visiting the border, claiming that the President isn’t worried about the “optics” of the trip.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett apparently responded to Perry’s letter, inviting the Governor to a roundtable discussion on the border issue with local officials and faith leaders.  Back in 2012, Perry attempted to run for President, although he never got very far in the primaries.  However, there’s been talk of him giving it another run in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election.  In the buildup to this, Perry has criticised the Obama Administration due to the recent influx of children trying to enter the US illegally along the border.  On Sunday, Perry claimed that Obama isn’t “personally invested” in solving the issue, accusing him of not caring whether or not America’s southern border is secure.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest says that the Governor is simply “playing politics”, and that he should rather work to support significant immigration reform.  While the Democratic and Republican parties disagree on how immigration should be handled, both sides agree that it needs to be reformed dramatically.  Even if Obama and the Democrats probably disagree on how it should be reformed, it seems obvious that they would benefit from a discussion with Rick Perry, the Governor of a state that sees so much illegal immigration.