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Electric Airplanes Are the Future of Pilot Training

Walk into a flight school today and you’ll probably take your first training flight in an aging airplane that’s noisy, expensive, and burns leaded fuel. But the race is on to change that, with electric trainers that are clean, vibration-free, and cheap to operate. ( More...

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Cool and look forward to it. Just need to sort out electricity generation and partial battery recycling/disposal.
tim mitchell 3
Shouldn't be that different than that of the electric cars....only problem I see is the two hr. life cycle because over time the batteries will deteriorate and discharge faster...Also if these things are to be used for flight training there might be a problem trying to plot out the 150 nm solo cross country that is required to earn your private pilot.
The question I have is this; Once trained on the Electric, how much more training is required to transition to a piston powered and/or a turbine powered plane? How much of a difference is there in weight distribution and flight characteristics between these planes? I'm a big fan of electric powered anything, but the battery life and power cycle is the key. Wouldn't it be nice to have solar cells that could power the load and only need batteries for brief cloud cover. Yes, that would be nirvana. Of course there is the problem of night flights.
Derek Edwards 2
Funny you should mention that. This is cool!
I'd fly an electric for short hops or just around the pattern for kicks any day.......if there are any boomers left standing by the time these get here it will be the way to go for some cheap flight. The feds need to get off their rears and pass the driver license medical for 3rd class and we can have some fun.

Mark Lansdell 1
No thanks. I found out recently that DMV passed me for a license with vision that took surgery to correct. We don't need that kind of bureaucracy to allow people wit 2 dimensional thinking into the 3 dimensional world of aviation. Further, I can't imagine some of the people I've driven in an automobile with in the cockpit of an airplane.
Light Sport has had the drivers license medical for the last 12 years. No accidents reported due to medical problems......fully support medical checks for commercial pilots.....but several of them have passed those checks and died shortly after in the cockpit........
Mark Lansdell 1
I've known pilots and non pilots alike who died of a heart attack, within 12 hours of having their heart checked. I don't abide with the idea that just anyone can or should pilot an aeroplane and a physical seemed to cull out some of the would be incidents if only for interest and the extra steps to get a biannual check up. I have never thought of medics as magicians or sooth sayers and can predict the future. It's more on the idea that, "if you really wanna fly you gotta'...". I've been a professional pilot, i've been a professional driver and I've been a professional Marine Captain. I'vr seen son people who shouldn't have a license to drive a car and I dare say so have you. Those types have to be culled from the practitioners. I made plenty of errors while learning how to fly, but knew I had to correct the errors and keep them out of my flying repertoire. the Physical requirement just adds one more thing to get over and through. A class physical for an ATR never kept them from drinking and flying, but the hoops and hurdles kept some from even trying.
Peter Steitz 1
I've been a commercial pilot for 14 years--medicals every 6 months. The medical checks are a joke. They don't test nearly as much as a family doctor would.
Mark Lansdell 1
FAA medics are pretty forgiving. My first consisted of two questions, of course I was 17 or 18 years old. The first was How do you feel? the second was what color is that trash can over there? :-)
Bill Butler 1
How do you know what your engine is doing if you can't hear it?
tim mitchell 1
There would be some sound if nothing more than just a whine...There would also probably be a low voltage disconnect built in..Kinda like whenever your alternator goes out in your car all non essential stuff would start to shut down; radio first, then the lights finally the engine.
Mark Lansdell 1
They tell me flying is flying and an airplane is an airplane, But....Between the Cessnas 150, 172 and 177 the Pipers 140, 150 and and 180 and the Alon A-2A, I learned the basics of manned flight. Sure it was expensive. They didn't call it the sport of kings for nothing. Later I graduated to light twins, And gracious, a DC 3 might be a light twin today, and then on to some bigger iron, not so much tubes as boxes. The noise has always been part of the flying experience for the equipment operators. I can't even imagine powered flight without the din and constant drone of a reciprocation engine exhaust or the in and out of a turbine combined with the sound of a propeller grabbing for air. The idea of a hum or whirr just doesn't get it for me. I'm not sure Lockheed knew how to make a quiet airplane. I swear they started with an echo can and moved on from there amplifying the noise through a fuselage resonator to defining and energy draining limits taking lessons from North American Aviation in that regard when they built the Hercules. What would you name the whirring version of the mighty C130, the Hummer? What will a quiet cockpit be like. I'll never know I'm afraid, but I hope my grand children will find out.
Pat McKinzie 1
Only the first 10 hours or so should be about an hour after that it will normally be more and we want an hours reserve, so two hour endurance is woefully inadequate.
MMPilot 1
Flight Training with electric airplanes will not be the future as long we understand by future the next 100 years ! Accelerating some thousand kgs into the sky and keeping it there with nice maneuvers needs strong energy of some 1000 Ahs. With storage weight of todays techniques airplane payload will be reduced below zero. No university research has identified up to now electricity storage with an energy density close to fuel. Boeing's Dreamliner Batteries are such a blooper of naive progress ignoring physics.
lee hauxwell 0
Just need to improve the performance of batteries at low temperatures.


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