Airplanes account for almost five percent of global climate emissions. In the United States, the corresponding value is even twelve percent. This could be changed by changing the flight behavior of the passengers. Green MP Dieter Janacek recently suggested limiting the number of air travel per person to three a year. For further flights then surcharges would be due. The idea, however, did not go down well with party friends everywhere. But it is also possible to reduce emissions through new technologies. Many companies are therefore working on the development of electric aircraft. The airline Harbor Air makes now nails with heads and wants to equip the entire fleet with electric motors.
Medium-length trips are possible with electric drive
This is possible because the airline relies on a special business model: above all, it offers connections between large cities in northwestern America. Take-offs and landings usually take place on the water. The real advantage, however, is that the distances are each less than 1,000 miles – ie 1,600 kilometers – amount. Electric motors can already provide the necessary drive on these comparatively short distances and on small aircraft. Statistics show that basically around 75 percent of the flights take place on these medium-length routes. However, the classic airliners are so big that so far still a combustion engine is needed.
In the medium term, the entire fleet is to be converted
Harbor Air now wants to retrofit the 14 copies of the "de Havilland Canada DHC-2" aircraft and equip them with an electric motor from magniX. Six people can be transported with it. If the converted e-fliers then prove to be reliable in regular service, then the entire fleet is to be retrofitted. In the long term, the offer of the airline could also be supplemented by electric air taxis. Among other things , the German company Lilium Aviation works on such projects . In this way, at least in the niche, complete air travel over more than 1,000 kilometers could be completed completely emission-free. Numerous companies and organizations – from Boeing to Uber to NASA – are already working to further electrify aviation.