Flight has long been rumored to have a very high environmental footprint per passenger-kilometer. With the advent of low-cost airlines, this value has improved significantly for two reasons: in the low-cost model, they strive to make the best possible use of aircraft, thus minimizing the number of empty seats on flights. The other aspect is that they are constantly buying the most modern, latest aircraft, as every tiny fuel saving comes with a significant cost advantage in the face of intense competition.
From a cost-saving and environmental point of view, it is not at all surprising that the development of electric engines in aviation should also begin. In November, easyJet signed an agreement to begin designing electric-powered aircraft in partnership with its partners, Airbus and Wright Electric. U.S. development company Wright is currently working on an 186-seat electric-powered aircraft, with ground testing scheduled to begin in 2021 and airplane in 2023. Wright’s electrical system includes a 1.5 MW electric drive and a 3-kilovolt inverter suitable for 186 seats commercial aviation, which can bring aviation closer to zero emissions in Europe and worldwide. The company expects Wright 1 to be available in 2030 in ten years.
“We know it’s important for our passengers to travel in a sustainable way, as evidenced by the success of our carbon compensation program, but we are aware that this is only a temporary solution until new technologies arrive on the market.” Said Johan Lundgren, head of easyJet, looking forward to the results of the ambitious plan.