A future of electric airplanes?

The days of more powerful electric cars and fully electric airplanes might not be as far as we might think. A young man, inspired by the Solar Impulse project, has filed a patent for an electric turbojet concept. Determined to find a way to power a jet without fossil fuels, Xavier Morin found the answer in space.

The idea is to convert electrical energy into heat in the combustion chamber. But since a metal resistor is not fit for this use, Xavier found a solution simply using electrical arcs. This technology, called arcjet, is already exploited on satellites but had to be significantly modified for atmospherical use.

In parallel, funding and research for the key variable in Xavier’s electric turbojet, the batteries, has been allocated and is taking place. The United States Government, via the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), has awarded $5 million and $1 million respectively to two companies working on a lithium-air battery, for the former, and an all-electron battery, for the latter. IBM has also launched itself in the search for a better, lighter and more efficient battery, but has decided to go ahead with its own funds.

If these scientists and researchers succeed in their quest, future batteries could have electric cars running for 500 miles (~805 kilometers) with only one charge: a result exceeding today’s gasoline engines. That would also mean that Xavier’s electric turbojet would have a guaranteed lightweight energy source and that Solar Impulse’s pilots, thanks to the trivial weight of the new batteries,   wouldn’t need to watch their waistlines anymore!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this technological evolution!

Image above: Turbo Arcjet

The days of more powerful electric cars and fully electric airplanes might not be as far as we might think. A young man, inspired by the Solar Impulse project, has filed a patent for an electric turbojet concept. Determined to find a way to power a jet without fossil fuels,



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