Planes are envious of cars. The latter already have a long “electric road” traveled, but the segment of electric aircraft was still in its infancy. That has changed noticeably with the takeoff of a very special Cessna light aircraft .
It is a nine-seat Cesna 208B Grand Caravan that has been converted to go from a combustion engine to a fully electric motor. The take-off of this electric aircraft makes it the world’s largest of its kind , and makes one think of more and more progress in that promising future of zero-emission aviation.
Electric planes take off, but really
Although there are no definitive studies, various analysts have long warned of the environmental impact of aviation, which is one of the major contributors to climate change due to CO 2 emissions , nitrous gases or condensation trails that form aircraft.
Several manufacturers and projects have tried to come up with an alternative based on electric motors, and this Cessna light aircraft has become the latest great promise in this segment.
To achieve this, Cessna has partnered with the aerospace firm AeroTEC and the propulsion company magniX. The latter has provided its 750 hp (560 kW) magni500 system, which had already been used successfully on a six-seater electric flight in December 2019.
The flight, which took place at AeroTEC facilities in Washington, becomes yet another demonstration that these types of commercial zero-emission – and more cost-efficient – flights are now feasible.
Other companies have been developing projects in this regard for some time. EasyJet is working on an aircraft with a range of 500 km, while Airbus aims to test its twelve-seater hybrid aircraft in 2022 .
It seems difficult to propose these solutions at the moment in large commercial aircraft, but be that as it may, it seems that this promising niche market is definitely taking off, and never better said.