Commercial electric aircraft completes first test flight (video)

Numerous enthusiasts and specializedcompanies are developing aircraft with electric engines, but so far no projects have been brought to commercial use. The DHC-2 Beaver model seaplane, which was designed back in 1946, could be the first commercial electric powered aircraft.

Harbor of Vancouver, Canada owns 14DHC-2 Beaver airplanes carrying six passengers per flight. Pratt & Whitney PT-6A turbo engines currently consume $ 300 fuel per hour. Installation of 750 powerful electric motors will reduce costs to 10-20 dollars per 160 km of flight. The first test flights have already been carried out and company representatives announced positive results that allow us to hope that the use of electric airplanes for commercial purposes will begin soon.

Given the small energy capacitylithium-ion batteries (the specific energy of the batteries is only 5% of the specific energy of jet fuel or aviation gasoline) aircraft with electric motors can only make short flights, limited to 160 km radius.

For a Canadian company, and previously transportedshort-distance passengers from Vancouver to Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia (93 km), such a radius of an autonomous flight is enough to start commercial use. A flight by plane between two Canadian cities takes 30 minutes, and a ferry trip takes up to 4 hours.

The main advantage of aircraft with electricthe engine is lower maintenance and operating costs. Charging batteries is much easier than refueling with special fuel, for which you should have a network of gas stations. In addition, the maintenance of the electric motor is much simpler and cheaper than the repair of traditional turbo engines. And, of course, flying on electric traction does not harm the environment.

Upon completion of all necessary tests of DHC-2 Beaver aircraft on electric motors, Harbor will begin their operation on passenger lines already in 2022.

Source: Engadget