Over the past decade, there has been a revolution in remote controlled aircraft as they have shifted from internal combustion engines to electric motors. This has expanded the RC hobby significantly since electric-powered aircraft are more economical, quieter, and more reliable than their internal combustion counterparts. Can a similar revolution be in store for full-scale aircraft?
In the case of remote control aircraft, a series of technological advances in batteries, motors, and further miniaturization of electronics combined to make electric flight practical. The question I have is: Does the technology scale to full-sized aircraft?
Today we’re flying around with 60-year-old engine technology, with very few updates, unless we add them ourselves. This is only possible in the experimental aircraft category, of course. It would be nice to see a quantum leap in technology applied to airplanes that we can climb in and fly. Here is a video of a company producing an example of a full-sized (albeit small) electric airplane:
Granted, there are a number of limitations such as the amount of charge it can hold (1 hour) and the time it takes to charge it (24 hours). But if those limitations can be overcome, it would be a very interesting alternative to conventional power plants.