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Unsettled Domains Concerning Electric Propulsion Technology for Commercial Aircraft

  • Research Report
  • EPR2019006
Published December 30, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English
According to some, electric propulsion is already on its way down the “trough of disillusionment.” This report argues that while there are some concerns with associated technologies, such pessimism is unwarranted. Yes, battery systems can be more energy dense; charging standards are late in being developed; it is not clear what technologies and architectures will win out for which sectors; we still have to figure out how to deal with thermal management issues at all levels in future designs; and what might be the certification standards for electric aircraft. But that does not mean that these issues will not be addressed. Yes, these unsettled questions may take a little longer to solve than originally estimated, but there is full expectation within the industry that electric propulsion for commercial aircraft will succeed. In this SAE EDGE Research Report we present points of view from leading researchers in the industry who are thinking deeply about solving these problems.
NOTE: SAE EDGE™ Research Reports are intended to identify and illuminate key issues in emerging, but still unsettled, technologies of interest to the mobility industry. The goal of SAE EDGE™ Research Reports is to stimulate discussion and work in the hope of promoting and speeding resolution of identified issues. SAE EDGE™ Research Reports are not intended to resolve the issues they identify or close any topic to further scrutiny.