Rapid advances in microelectronics, software, battery capabilities and electric motors converging with regulatory flexibility and evolving public attitudes have awakened a new era of aircraft design.
Hybrid/electric propulsion allows for zero emissions over shorter distances and drastically reduced emissions on longer flights.
eAircraft developments in the 2020’s offer the potential to reshape the world. These designs may enable efficient and reliable aviation transportation to the thousands of smaller cities and towns around the world.
Simplified Vehicle Operations (SVO) provides an approach that can eliminate traditional human error while enabling pilots to manage the safety of the flight with levels of system redundancy and reliability.
Established in 2015, the EPIC works to ensure general aviation manufacturers’ innovation merges with the traditional regulatory regimes governing the design and operation of aircraft. The committee’s work also focuses on ongoing safety improvement initiatives toward simplified aircraft operations and establishing global standards for the industry.Learn more
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Hybrid and electric propulsion offers an efficient and reliable source of thrust but the reason for so much excitement goes beyond simply a new form of Propulsion. eAircraft systems can blur the lines between powerplant and flight controls. With the ability to produce flight torque at very slow rotational speeds, eAircraft motors are completely silent and propeller noise can also be made extremely quiet.Learn more
One of the vert exciting new forms of transportation being enabled by eAircraft is Urban Air Mobility (UAM). The precise and reliable control, reliability and torque at low RPMs enable eAircraft to integrate into the lives of the public in much more common and effective ways.
To ensure the timely availability of Urban Air Mobility can become a reality in the near-term the following issues must be addressed:here.
Over the last few years the world's key aviation regualtors have been workign together to enable a new set of performance based design requirements (EASA CS-23, FAA Part 23, etc.). Using this powerful new tool the its full extent and developing globally coordinated means of compliance throught concensus standards is absolutely critical to the success of UAM.
eAircraft will offer tremendous simplifications in some areas and will require pilots to have new knowledge and traing in other areas. Today we associate having two or more combustion engines with more complex aircraft; some implementations of multi-motor eAircraft may actually simplify the task of flying over even a traditional single engine aircraft. eVTOL aircraft might offer simplified piloting tasks accross the board as compared to traditional aircraft.
eVTOL aircraft promise highly efficient, environmentally-friendly ways to directly move people in urban areas. In order to provide the expected benefits, they will integrate into airspace shared by many other forms of aviation - from small cargo-carrying drones to helicopters. A thoughtful approach to airspace integration from unmanned aircraft to airliners is vital to assure the maximum benefits of the airspace at the level of safety we all expect.
City and national level mobility plans will need to take more account of aviation in multi-modal transport solutions, as we seek ways to reduce daily travel times and remove congestion. Cities that plan ahead to incorporate urban air mobility vehicles will see the benefits - from air taxis to medical emergency capabilities.
As manned and unmanned aircraft both grow in importance and usefulness, it will be increasingly important that policies and regulations which introduce unmanned aircraft operations are developed with a forward thinking mindset which accounts for latent demand and future operational constructs which have yet to be considered.
Play the video to see the world’s first electric flight that took place at AERO Friedrichshafen in 2017, as well as many other electric and e-VTOL aircraft and designs from EPIC members like Siemens, Lilium, Uber Elevate, Terrafugia and more.
As eAircraft become a reality, there are a number of questions which are frequently asked.
In April 2017 the GAMA EPIC was able to witness the world's first all electric airshow. In April 2018 the group was witness to the first public all electric tandem flight demonstration. Today there are trainer size all electric aircraft available for sale and larger, faster electric aircraft with substantial range are in the mature stages of design certification.
Electric aircraft can be extremely quiet so you need to pay close attendition if you want to see one flying. Over the coming year, more and more all electric aircraft are leaving the production lines and coming to an airport near you. Keep your eyes out, the world of eAircraft is here.
SElectric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft include a number of unique characteristics which are enabled by electric motors. Because electric motors can make flight torque at low rotational speeds, vertical flight can be accomplished in comparative silence. Electric motor designs permit a high degree of redundancy which allows for unparalelled safety and functionality. eVTOL have far fewer mechanical systems and maintenance costs and requirements can be remarkably simple.
SToday's battery technologies are capable of powering designs that can cerry around 4-5 people for flights of over an hour, with an additional energy reserve. Vertical flight operations are energy intensive and can shorten flight durations. Nearly all indications are that the trend of 3-5% energy density improvement per year will continue into the conceivable future and battery costs will decline dramatically in the coming years. Today's batteries make eAircraft possible and every year the fuel tanks will grow making the case for eAircraft stronger and stronger.
eAircraft holds the potential to allow aviation to be much more a part of the daily lives of everyone. Energy costs, simplified maintenance requirements and the scalability of efficiency hold the potential to dramaticaly reduce operating costs.
The GAMA Electric Propulsion & Innovation Committee (EPIC) and the subcommittees meet several times per year in key locations around the world.
The GAMA Electric Propulsion Subcommittee (ELC) will meet in Oshkosh, WI USA during the world's largest gathering of aircraft, AirVenture.
The GAMA Simplified Vechicle Operations Subcommittee (SVO)will meet in Oshkosh, WI USA during the world's largest gathering of aircraft, AirVenture.