The future of air travel is electric, according to some quarters of the aviation industry. Electric jets are cheaper to run, better for the environment and significantly quieter than conventional passenger planes.
And they could be a reality sooner than you might think.
Wright Electric told an audience of investors in Silicon Valley yesterday that it’s building a 150-seat electric plane that could shuttle passengers from London to Paris and back in just 10 year’s time, the BBC reported.
Low budget airline EasyJet has already expressed an interest in the firm’s jets, which are designed for short-haul flights of less than 300 miles. Such journeys make up 30 per cent of flights and constitute a $26 billion (£21 billion) market.
The firm’s plans are dependent on battery technology continuing to develop at the current rate. But if they don’t improve quickly enough, the firm will use a hybrid system similar to those seen in road cars, TechCrunch reported.
Some experts have warned that the battery technology still has a long way come. Graham Warwick, technology editor of Aviation Weekly, told the BBC that “nobody thinks it’s going to happen any time soon”.
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Wright Electric is backed by Y Combinator, one of the world’s most prestigious startup incubators. Michael Seibel, head of the accelerator programme, told Tech Crunch: “This is one of the best hard tech teams I’ve ever seen.”
Given the potential price cuts and the environmental benefits, here’s hoping Wright Electric’s vision takes off sooner rather than the later.
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