Electric Flight

This section will build to be a resource about Electric Flight, my main area of research at this time.

Electric aircraft at Grenchen, Switzerland


Several years ago the only power source available for radio-controlled aircraft was a glow-engine powered using nitro-methanol, a ‘nitro’ engine. Slowly over the years electric power has become the mainstream power source for all but the largest model aircraft.

This is due to electric motor and battery technology advances, bringing forth longer lasting batteries and brushless motors that produce as much power as their nitro competitors, but without the noise fumes and high maintenance requirements.

The same driving factors are true of real aviation, where the challenges and gains are much greater.  This is the driving factor behind the Aviation Industry’s stated goal of achieving sustainable electric powered flight.

The European Commission released their Flightpath 2050 paper in 2011, setting goals for air transportation to have:

  • 75% reduction of CO2 emissions by reduction of fuel use;
  • 90% reduction in NOX emissions;
  • 65% reduction in external noise.

These were upgraded from their previous paper, Flightpath 2020, released in 2001 to reflect the rapid growth in E-Flight technology, from:

  • 50% reduction of CO2 emissions by reduction of fuel use;
  • 80% reduction in NOX emissions;
  • 50% reduction in external noise.

Sustainable Electric Powered Flight will achieve all of these targets.


Below is a presentation that I gave to Penarth Aviation Society on Electric Flight, in August 2017.  Even now this presentation seems dated, (Oct 2017), such is the pace that things are moving;

Smart Flyer Challenge 2017

An E-Flight event took place at Grenchen, Switzerland, on 9-10 September 2017.

To support the electrical mobility in aviation and to emphasize their relevance, the regional airport Grenchen (LSZG) held the first Fly-In for electric powered aircraft.

The event had both a static and air display for a variety of different electric- or hybrid powered aircraft.

Below you can see the photos that I took at this event.


Useful Websites

Sustainable Skies:  A Blogsite featuring articles on e- Flight