Published on April 20th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart0
When Airplanes Are Designed To Be Energy Agnostic, You Know Electricity Is Banging At The Door
April 20th, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
The amount of breakthroughs and progress electric aviation has made this past decade are awe inspiring. We’ve got news practically every day of electric airplanes (e-planes) and electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL) aircraft under development, planned for market, or already arriving. When you look back to long-off dreams of electric VTOL aircraft back in the ’90s, today’s reality is astounding.
Lift Air’s Flight Design General Aviation GmbH is a German aircraft design and manufacturing company that has announced a new 4-seat airplane that could be certified in a year. But the important part of the new release is that it is energy agnostic, which means it is ready for a full electric propulsion system. The Flight Design line called CTLS is a new modular model capable of adapting to various energy systems.
In many ways, this is an important sign of the maturity of the electric aviation market. The electric vehicle (EV) parallel would be when new cars today are designed to be energy agnostic, using electricity or gasoline. In many ways, it also shows how quickly electric aviation has picked up, a testament to how far battery energy density has come in a short while. Most VTOL projects so far are hybrids/electric, but most, if not all are designed to switch over to electricity as soon as technology allows, as we mentioned with the Bell Nexus eVTOL air taxi.
The new Flight Design F4 is a 4-seat model certified under FAR 23 — CS23 to the rest of the world — and is a stretched, modified, beefed-up version of the CTLS airframe. The wingspan and fuselage length have been increased and bring the gross weight to 1100 kg (2420 lb) with a predicted 150- to 160-knot range.
Although Flight Design hasn’t mentioned any price yet, Matthias Betsch said the company was targeting under $300,000.