Electric Airplanes To Start Taking Off In Australia

The home of the koala, the kangaroo, and Qantas is about to launch the world’s first all-electric, zero emissions airline. “We believe there will be a revolution in aviation and we want to be at the forefront,” Aaron Shaw, chief executive of Sydney Seaplanes, said. “This is the way of the future.”

“Combined with our commitment to use solar technology in our charging facilities, this puts us in a very strong position to become the world’s first fully-electric nil-emissions airline, subject to the speed of regulatory approvals,” he said.

I am sure someone, somewhere is staying – “If it can’t fly me to London and back without recharging, I won’t go on the thing.” But that’s not where electric airplanes will start. There are much shorter routes within Australia, just as there are in Europe, where plans are afoot to launch electric planes into commercial flight. 

Sydney Seaplanes is now partnering with aircraft engine-maker magniX to make electric flight commercially viable. MagniX has already electrified seaplanes in Canada

“History tells us that advances in propulsion drive revolutions in aviation. After the piston engine and jet engine, the electric motor promises to usher in a new age of flight. With significantly reduced operating costs, electric aircraft will change the economics of travel – as well as eliminate carbon emissions. With magniX propulsion technology now showing a proven capacity to power a range of different aircraft, we offer a glimpse into how the electric era begins. We are exploring all applications for electric technologies in the aviation industry, seeking to accelerate the world’s transition to electric flight.”

Seaplanes to e-planes. Image courtesy of Harbour Air.

Many Sydney Seaplanes flights are short, such as 10 minutes or so from its base at Rose Bay north to Palm Beach. It also plans a trial flight next Tuesday from Sydney Harbour to Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, though, with the intention of starting thrice-daily return flights to Canberra from next September. The company, which operates five seaplanes mostly from Sydney Harbour, said it plans to expand its fleet by as many as four more aircraft.

“The environmental benefits are clear, with nil-emissions travel already technically possible on shorter journeys, and with the exponential improvement in battery technologies, range will continue to increase,” Mr Shaw said, adding those gains will enable the company to make the Canberra and other flights battery-powered.

Among the benefits that non-passengers will enjoy include a reduction in noise of as much as 75% compared with the existing fossil-fueled planes, the company said. Mr Shaw said the technological advances are making electric planes competitive. Electric aircraft engines can fly 3 times more hours than their ICE counterparts before requiring a thorough overhaul. Stay tuned. We expect much more electric aircraft news in 2022.

Source: Sydney Seaplanes


 

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