Electric Planes Could Provide Eco-Friendly Flight
You make sure to recycle, you buy organic, and you ride your bike to work on sunny days. But all those greenie points you stockpile in your daily life get spent when you set foot on a plane: hopping a flight from New York’s JFK Airport to LAX International in Los Angeles creates a shocking 965 pounds of carbon emissions—per passenger. After returning home, you’d need to plant five trees to restore your carbon-neutral balance.
But take heart: you may soon have a solution for flying without feeling eco-guilt. Electric airplanes are on their way.
Engineers have been tinkering with electric motors for planes, which are significantly more energy-efficient, more reliable, and much quieter than today’s internal combustion engines. Because electric aircrafts are so quiet, they should be able to take off and land much closer to communities than the roaring jetliners we’re used to.
“We’re exploring the concept of pocket airports, maybe lots of them, each just two acre parcels, that you can take, say, at 150 mph to another pocket airport,” Brien Seeley, president of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation, told TechNews Daily. “It’s a transformative concept.”
The main hold-up preventing electric planes from becoming commonplace is the issue of battery life. Electric batteries are typically quite heavy, which could inhibit flight. But engineers are also developing new, lightweight battery packs that can charge a plane for a flight of up to 200 miles. One company, Nanosolar, is also trialing flexible solar panels that attach to the plane’s wings, and can recharge the battery during flight.
So odds are good that before long, you may have the chance to hop a ride on an electric plane and fly the friendly green skies.
Want to get a look at how an electric plane might work? Check out inventor Randall Fishman’s mini-model in action.Filed under: General Interest, Green,
Liked this? You'll love these, too:
Adaptive Cruise Control Could Cut Your Commute in Half
The new adaptive cruise control technology can make roads safer and faster for car drivers. Read More
5 Reasons to Join a CSA Now
A community-supported agriculture program is a great way to get fresh veggies from a local farm all summer long. Read More
Green your Workplace with Tree-Free Paper
Want to make your office feel a little more eco-friendly? Then it's time to find out about the great alternatives to traditional wood-pulp paper. Read More
6 Good Reasons to Buy Locally
Check out these benefits for buying your fruit and vegetables from a local farmer or market. Read More
Five Ways to Help Your Kids Go Green
Try these tips to help your children become more eco-friendly. Read More
To our free daily newsletter, featuring good news from around the world, exclusive interviews with changemakers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers. Your privacy is secure with us, we will never spam you or sell your email address. Enter your email address below or click here to learn more about what you will receive.
- Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing
- Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious
- Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog
- Liam Hoekstra, Superbaby: Toddler Born with Superhuman Strength
- Mugging Attempt Gets Thwarted by Real-Life Ninjas