Electric is one of the biggest power source in aerospace engineering. Electric powered and hybrid aircrafts are seen as future of aerospace engineering. Fuel is most common energy source of an aircraft. High energy capacity requirement and common technological aspects have limitations about using electric and hybrid technologies. Is it really possible to have fuel free aircraft technologies in the future?
Fuel free aircraft has another meaning about aerospace engineering technologies. Fuel free aircraft means dozen of technologies about motor, battery, charging and even aerodynamics. Beyond new technologies and environmental aspects it is really important to have commercial aircrafts that use electric energy. There is design projects about passenger aircrafts. However they are quite far dreamed prototypes.
Unmanned and prototype aircrafts are available. However, innovative technologies that can be used commercially is still in research and development period. There is major differences between conventional aircrafts and electric powered aircrafts. Electric powered aerospace engineering vehicles have less power and flight height.
Electric powered aircraft can be game changer for aerospace engineering. There is a project that is named as E-fan project. It is not a concept. It is reality. It shows potential of electric in aerospace engineering. There is a purpose about aerospace engineering: Being innovative.
Hybrid energy is an alternative story to electric powered aircraft. Having lower emissions is main idea of hybrid aircraft. Research and development studies about LNG fueled aircraft are still going on. A few decades later clearer technologies can be used commercially which will use LNG and hydrogen source.
Electric cars and hybrid cars has shown alternative power sources can be used in vehicles. Many cars, busses and trains are being used as commercially. Electric and hybrid cars to aircrafts are possible by making significant research and development studies. An aircraft that has two engines like hybrid cars can work.
Changes in aerospace engineering will make differences about aircraft production and maintenance philosophy. Quiet electric motors put less noise and more comfortable flight in comparison to conventional aircrafts. In same way electric motors need less maintenance which work more regular.
Not only fuel and engine technologies, also operational and aerodynamic details have to be considered for electric aircraft. Wings and structure has major effect so most of the aircraft projects have own designs due to aerodynamic and power limitations.
Nevertheless, aerospace engineering need huge improvements about battery technologies. More time for flight is compulsory. Flying with two people does not make sense in commercial aspect. Using kinetic energy of aircraft can be next stop of hybrid aircrafts. As in hybrid car technology altitude changes of aircraft can be used for charging of batteries.
Another topic about using alternative fuels in aircrafts is biofuel. Most of the government projects support using biofuels in aircrafts. European Union has regulations about using alternative fuels in aircrafts.
Emissions and not renewable sources push borders of aircraft technologies. Projects like E-fan, Solar Impulse and SUGAR Freeze has major success in aerospace engineering.
Aerospace Engineering and Aviation website provides information for universities, jobs, salary and museums for aeronautical, space and astronautical domain