Electric plane - EasyJet and Wright Electric

Easyjet – first flights with an electric plane in 2019?

Jennifer Weitbrecht
2 minutes

Do electric motors represent the future of flying? That’s the hope anyhow! Several companies are already working on it, in aviation as well as in the automotive industry. They include easyJet in a cooperation with a Californian startup.

easyJet cooperates with Wright Electric

As far back as a year ago, the low-cost airline announced that it was working closely with the Californian startup Wright Electric. The airline hopes that this cooperation will lead to a quantum leap in electric aircraft technology. The signs have been good up to now, as its partner Wright Electric is already making advances in the development of the electric plane.

Electric aircraft to handle all short-haul flights

Their common goal is an ambitious one: electrically powered passenger aircraft holding 150 to 200 passengers. That’s still some way away. But the plan is for all short-haul flights to be operated with these electric aircraft within the next 20 years or so.

Current state of development

When easyJet began cooperating with the startup, Wright Electric had already developed an electrically operated two-seater. Currently the Californian company is working on a nine-seater aircraft, which is set to take off in 2019! And yet this is just the start, as the ultimate goal is to develop large passenger aircraft with electric drives. Wright Electric has already registered a patent: an engine that can be installed in larger aircraft.

500-kilometre range within reach

The range of electric aircraft will be below the range of conventional passenger aircraft – but 500 kilometres should nevertheless be possible. easyJet boss Johan Lundgren is optimistic; “When you look at our current network, electric aircraft could initially be used on flights, say from Amsterdam to London.” The benefits would include lower noise pollution and significantly reduced environmental pollution.

Other companies are also revealing work on electric aviation. We have already reported on the development of an electric nose wheel by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with Lufthansa Engineering. Read the article.

by Jennifer Weitbrecht

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