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The development of electric aircraft opens new doors for engineers

11 Jul 14 - 9:16AM  | Aerospace

The past 10 years have seen the automotive sector dedicate considerable resources to the development of electric and hybrid cars. Looking ahead, the aviation industry is following in its footsteps with the debut of a fully-electric aircraft.


Electric cars are seen as a key tool in our fight against climate change and now the development of electric aircraft, which began as far back as the early 1970s, is back on the agenda. This year, the EU set 2 challenging goals for the aviation industry: by 2020, new aeroplanes will be expected to emit 75 per cent less CO₂ emissions and 65 per cent less noise than aircraft made fourteen years ago. Meeting these requirements presents a fascinating engineering challenge.


electric aircraft Jonathan Lee Recruitment

“The development of electric-powered aeroplanes has been in the pipeline for a number of years and is now a priority for companies to meet EU requirements, “says Matthew Heath, Managing Consultant for Aerospace, Defence and Aviation. “Many of the technologies previewed on these highly efficient, lightweight aircraft will eventually filter into conventional aircraft as pressure for technical advances is driven by emissions and noise regulations alongside the ever present need to reduce fuel costs.”

Earlier this year, following the launch of the photovoltaic-powered, propeller-driven Swiss Solar Impulse, Airbus Group unveiled a fully-electric plane in Bordeaux, named the E-Fan. The aircraft is set to inspire the design of the next generation of the company’s low emission aeroplanes. Airbus has also partnered with Rolls-Royce in a Technology Strategy Board supported project to develop a gas-turbine-powered hybrid system.

“The development of electric aircraft creates exciting opportunities for engineers to work in a fast developing sector, and develop advanced technologies required to design and manufacture aircraft of the future,” says Matthew “Just as we have seen in the automotive industry, the increasing pressure of demanding regulations will lead to a fascinating acceleration in technical development.”

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Posted by: Chris Potter, Date 17 July 2014, 05:20 AM
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