It's been announced and consumers need only a little patience: in about a decade we’ll fly from London to Paris or from New York to Washington while comfortably sitting on battery-powered planes. This is what Wright Electric, a Massachusetts-based start-up founded in 2016, aimed at reducing global warming starting from the aviation industry. In order to achieve this goal, the company is working on the first electrically powered airplane model. Any obstacles on the horizon? At the moment the battery life, but industry’s big players like Easyjet are already supporting the project.
Wright Electric is not the first case: many projects have been made to make the flights ecologically sustainable, but always with single or very few passengers (last summer we told you about Solar Impulse, the first solar energy airplane flying around the world hosting a single passenger). If the battery problem will be overcome, the Wright One aircraft will carry up to 150 people (such as Boeing 737 or Airbus A320) on 500 kilometers distances and although it’s a short distance, actually represents about 30% of air traffic. Moreover, there will be an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a drop in the cost of tickets for travelers and a reduction in noise pollution as electric vehicles are more silent.
At the moment – explains Jeff Engler, one of the founders – the designed aircraft allows to have modular battery assemblies with about 7,000 recharge cycles, weighing about 25 tons, but easy to change in a few minutes to avoid long recharging times in the airport allowing high frequency of flights. If progress in research in this field will continue with current growth rates, then everything would be easier. To let Wright One fly would need an energy capacity of about 12,000 kilowatts, electric planes will be on the market. If this view were to be denied by the facts, there would already be a plane B: a hybrid plane powered by an electric motor, however, more ecological than the models in circulation.