Dutch startup Elysian Aircraft wants to put an electric plane into service within ten years that can carry 90 passengers – including modern batteries and folding wings.
No one will deny that aviation needs to become more sustainable and wants to do so. Finally, it is important to implement the mandatory requirements of the ICAO CORSIA project. According to this, greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 may be only half of what they were in 2005. Therefore, research is being conducted at full speed on the development of electric-powered aircraft.
Although there are already small planes that fly electrically, they usually can only carry a few people. There are also larger projects. Easyjet, in cooperation with its partner Wright Electric, is searching for a new aircraft that can fly about 100 passengers over a distance of about 500 kilometers. Both companies have given themselves 20 years.
Electric 90 seater
The startup Elysian Aircraft's plans are even more ambitious. The Dutch presented the Elysian E9X project at the Scitech Forum of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Orlando. The company wants to develop a fully electric car that can accommodate 90 seats and can fly a distance of about 800 kilometers. Commissioning is scheduled for 2033.
This ambitious timeline is made possible thanks to new research results from Delft University of Technology, developed in collaboration with the Head of Technology and Development at Elysian Aircraft. One finding is that “large, battery-electric aircraft can transmit much more power and be more aerodynamically efficient than originally assumed,” the study says.
Width 42 metres
In practical terms, this means that the assumption that battery-powered aircraft are only suitable for short-range aircraft in the category of aircraft with fewer than 19 seats is incorrect. With a power density of 360 W/kg, the Elysian E9X can achieve the target standards.
The Elysian E9X is designed as a low-wing aircraft with a slim fuselage of approximately the same dimensions as Embraer's E-Jet series. The batteries must be placed completely in the wing. “We move the load to where the buoyancy is,” said technical director Rob Wolleswinkel. Global Aviation. The wings aim to set new aerodynamic standards thanks to their 7.5 degree curvature. The range is 42 metres.
The wings should be foldable, similar to the Boeing 777X, so that the plane can be used at all known airports. The aircraft operates with eight propellers with a diameter of 3.7 meters, which are operated directly by electric motors. Although there is a turbine at the rear of the fuselage, according to Elysian Aircraft, this is only intended to serve as a backup.
Elysian E9X also has popular models. Manufacturers based their design on early passenger aircraft, such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. “Although these aircraft were fuel poor, they were designed for long distances and had a high energy mass relative to the overall mass of the aircraft,” said co-president Rob Wollswinkel.
Production costs eight billion dollars
However, there are still some hurdles to overcome. Among other things, it must be possible to charge the batteries within 30-45 minutes to meet airline requirements. Another important point is financing. Welzwinkel expects production costs to range between five and eight billion dollars. There should already be discussions with potential airline customers.
“Tv expert. Hardcore creator. Extreme music fan. Lifelong twitter geek. Certified travel enthusiast. Baconaholic. Pop culture nerd. Reader. Freelance student.”