Fortunately, more and more electric cars are on the roads, and slowly electric propulsion is starting to appear in aircraft manufacturing, moreover, the demand for this is growing internationally. If some problems can be solved, electric propulsion can radically transform aviation.
Electricity is ten to twenty times safer than an explosive engine
Already in Hungary, more and more environmentally friendly electric cars can be found. In addition to the intensive developments currently taking place in the automotive industry, there has also been a demand for electric powered aircraft in aviation. The electric motor of an electric aircraft is 3-4 times more efficient than a conventional explosive engine drive, with an efficiency of 95%, while that of a conventional motor is only 18-23%, so electric motors waste much less energy. Brien Seeley, president of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation, says the reliability of an electric motor is 10 to 20 times greater than that of an explosive engine. Seeley told the scientific journal LiveScience, among other things, that an electric aircraft engine doesn’t need as much cooling airflow as an internal combustion engine, which is a big problem for explosive-powered aircraft because a significant portion of the air resistance comes from it.
Internal combustion engines are cooled by either liquid or air cooling. The latter are air-cooled radial piston, also known as star engines, in which the cylinders are not arranged one behind the other in a row, but in a wreath shape. For liquid-cooled in-line engines, air is flowed into the engine compartment for additional cooling through inlets built into the engine nacelles that protrude from the gondola, significantly increasing air resistance. Star engines already have a large diameter, and thus the gear nacelle of radial piston machines is much wider, which makes these types much more fluid resistant. In addition to the higher efficiency of the electric motor, it is also much quieter than conventional aircraft engines. Due to the quietness of electric motors, if they spread, civil airports could also be placed much closer to their destination without disturbing the population with air traffic. The silence of the electric motor is due to the fact that it operates on a completely different principle from the internal combustion engines and gas turbines that currently power aircraft. The electric motor can run at high speed immediately after switching on, so it can run at maximum power while jet engines do not.
In addition, since it is not necessary to gradually accelerate the aircraft to reach the rate of climb, the electric-powered aircraft is capable of a particularly short-term take-off. On jet-powered machines, the gear unit must be started up gradually, as the correct oil pressure and temperature, as well as the high operating temperature of the outgoing gas jet, must be achieved for optimal lubrication.
In addition, since it is not necessary to gradually accelerate the aircraft to reach the rate of climb, the electric-powered aircraft is capable of a particularly short-term take-off. On jet-powered machines, the gear unit must be started up gradually, as the correct oil pressure and temperature, as well as the high operating temperature of the outgoing gas jet, must be achieved for optimal lubrication. Therefore, the jet engine can only be accelerated to take-off power before start if all the above-mentioned parameters have already reached the operating values, which takes time. The mass switchover to electric aircraft would be very good for the environment, as it would improve air quality, but their spread would also be very positive in terms of climate change.