Дата: 02-10-17 11:22

OPINION: EasyJet"s electric vision faces steep challenges

Los Angeles-based start-up Wright Electric has a dream that within 20 years every short-haul service in the world will be flown by battery-powered aircraft.

UK budget airline EasyJet has bought in to this ­vision as part of its decarbonisation strategy. The pair are collaborating on a project to bring a 180-seat, all-electric airliner to market within the next decade.

However, the project is so far light on detail. No ­airframe partners are in place and the battery capabilities required do not yet exist.

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Yes, technology advances swiftly, but it is questionable whether the pace of development will be fast enough to meet that 10-year target.

Across the hangar from where the partners made their announcement stood a new Airbus A320neo – one of 100 the carrier has ordered.

The Neo is a programme designed around adding new engines to an existing airframe, and yet it still took five years from launch to service entry.

An all-new aircraft with a previously uncertificated propulsion system is likely to take considerably longer to bring to market. And even if Wright Electric succeeds with the first part of its plan, a huge number of current-generation narrowbodies will still be in service 20 years from now.

Having an ambitious goal is one thing, investing your hopes in a pipe-dream is another thing entirely.


Источник информации: Flight Global

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