High Times in the Electric Zoo
We’re in a period of innovation that resembles the one from 1908 to 1915, when countless ideas—many harebrained—were tried, a few of which evolved into the airplanes of today.
Now, it’s all about electricity. Electricity is an unlikely way of propelling airplanes—you can store enough of it to go either far or fast, but not both—yet hundreds of projects are currently in development. A lot of them are in the electric vertical takeoff and landing or eVTOL category, for which electric power is, if anything, even less appropriate. A list of eVTOL proposals takes up several pages online at evtol.news/aircraft. Several surprising names pop up. Cadillac? Aston Martin? Really? Good luck trying to tell the sheep from the goats.
Electric aircraft fall into several broad categories:
1. Conventional Transports
These are the most likely to enter service within a few years. They use runways. Electric motors replace piston or turbine engines on…