New Technology Update: Airlines To Adopt Electric Planes By 2024

New Technology Update: Airlines To Adopt Electric Planes By 2024

We have all known about fuel-powered planes but according to a new technology update in the airline industry, we can surely say that electric-powered aeroplanes would indeed be a reality as early as 2024. This change seems extremely challenging, however, passenger airlines are expected to shift to electric aircraft for covering shorter distances. Such estimations and speculations about such new innovations in the sector came in as Rex Airlines, an Australian aviation company, announced its plans to adopt electric aircraft technology in just two years. It would first be implemented on selected regional routes.

Keith Tonkin, the Aviation Projects Managing Director, said that:

"The technology is working. It's been proven in trial flight, and we can do a lot in two years."

Moreover, it’s not just Rex that is thinking to change its course of action. There are numerous other aviation industry participants that think the same. Commenting on this Mr Tonkin said that:

"There are some companies in Australia that are really heavily involved in the battery charging systems and infrastructure elements of the technology."

Why Such A New Technology Update In The Airline Industry?

The aviation industry is going to see a major change soon, but why? What induced it to switch to electric power modes? It has to be due to environmental concerns. There have been several new innovations in technology across various sectors around the world for the same reasons. Therefore, the airline industry could not have been behind, right? Mr Tonkin talked about the necessity of such a move saying:

"There's a worldwide effort towards reducing carbon emissions from all aircraft operations, which contributes about 2 per cent of the world's carbon pollution."

Rex Airlines is planning to refurbish its existing aircraft by replacing its fuel cells with electric batteries. However, Mr Tonkin said that it is necessary that a new plane is designed that is compatible with electric-powered batteries. He explained this by saying:

"It's the same as retrofitting a car with a battery-electric engine. It's not ideal."

Another industry expert,  Peter Harbison, Chairman Emeritus of the Centre for Aviation, said that this revolutionary change (introduction of electric aircraft technology) would have a possible downside: the battery weight. He commented on this and explained:

"The problem with electric operations in aircraft is that they basically rely on batteries, and batteries are heavy. If you wanted to fuel an A380 for a long-haul flight, you needed a battery that weighed something like 500 tonnes, which is more than the weight of the aircraft itself at the moment."

However, he did mention that this new technology update concerning electric planes might be a reality if shorter distances are considered. Also, there might be some modifications that the existing aircraft design would have to implement in order to be compatible with extracting power from electric batteries.

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Sophia Silva

When it comes to reporting about new technology or innovation, nobody is better than Sophia Silva who has been nurturing technology and innovation for the last 10 years.

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