Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced that it is developing an all-electric aircraft. The company says the new aircraft will provide environmental benefits as well as longer ranges and significant fuel cost savings.

Today’s electrical power is mainly limited to very light aircraft but IAI estimates that as the technology continues to mature, the market will diversify to short-range passenger airplanes and other configurations.

IAI says it is already testing electric energy sources and related control systems. In recent years, it has also invested heavily in research and development around electric propulsion systems.

A new era, the next big trend

Moshe Medina, IAI Engineering and Development Group VP, said: “The aviation world is about to enter a new era of electric propulsion.”

“The significant improvement of electrical power sources for the cellular communication and electric cars may prove to have a positive effect on the reliability and efficiency of the electrical power system.

“These, in turn, can make the electric aircraft ‘the next big trend’ in the world of aviation. Electric airplanes are greener, quieter, reliable and more economical. While many technological challenges need to be addressed as part of the development and certification, IAI’s extensive experience allows us to develop a solution kit for building the world’s most efficient electrical aircraft. We are nearing the completion of the characterisation and conceptual design phase and will focus on the areas in which we see the strongest business potential.”

Partner potential

Alongside its own in-house developments, IAI says it is also considering potential collaborations with a startup company in the “upcoming and challenging field” of electrically powered aircraft.

Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.