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Plane & Pilot Magazine: Electric Airplanes Are Here To Stay

The aviation industry is slowly warming up to batteries and has been testing some interesting two- to four-seat airplanes these past few years.

Hybrid-electric airplane Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

The aviation industry is slowly warming up to batteries and has been testing some interesting two- to four-seat airplanes these past few years.

As battery energy density shrinks in favor of aircrafts, plane makers and kit conversions are starting to make headways. CleanTechnica has looked at the sensational aEro, the Sun Flyer 2 and now 4, as well as a slew of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) crafts and shorter commuters like Zunum set to challenge the traditional helicopters and the business jet world.

Plane & Pilot Asks Its Readers, Is Electric In or Not?

Some Plane & Pilot Magazine poll numbers on this topic are in. Asking its readers to weigh in on whether electric airplanes are a fad or here to say, we were surprised to find that most readers are looking favorably to electric airplanes.

The question was: “What do you think is the future of electric power in light GA?”

Answer option #1: “It’s our future. Within the next decade or so, most new light planes will be electrically powered.”

30% of the readers felt electric airplanes would reach into the skies within this decade.

Answer option #2: “Electric power will play a role in light GA, but not to as big an extent as some might think.”

36% of readers think they will play a role, but not as far as some might think.

This answer is really interesting because we are in the early infancy of electric airplanes and the industry has only started working on electric drivetrain the last few years. So overall, it bodes very well.

Answer option #3: “Planes with electric power will be a small but present part of the fleet before too long.”

23% was perhaps the most interesting number as almost a quarter of the magazine’s readers believe they are here to stay but so far the performance limits them to local one-hour flights, training schools, and hobbyists.

Answer option #4: “Electric planes will remain a curiosity.”

Finally, only 11% believe that electric planes are nothing big and will just hold onto their current place as a cursiosity.

There you go. Now is your time to weigh in. Are electric airplanes here to stay or just a mild curiosity? And do we only consider local airplanes, such as the Cessna 150 and 170 generation?

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Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"


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