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Electric Aircraft 2013-2023

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This publication has been discontinued on October 8, 2013.

Abstract

Description

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This is the first and only report to analyse all forms of electric flying vehicle from robot insects to new solar airships, light aircraft and airliners and give timelines to 2022. It covers manned and unmanned aircraft, technology, funding, standards and other aspects for hybrid and pure electric versions across the world. Unusually, we compare what is happening in aviation with progress in land and water based electric vehicles that are in some ways further progressed yet use similar components and powertrains to achieve largely similar objectives.

Aircraft design will never be the same again after the pressure to save the planet, reduce local noise, air and land pollution, reduce dependency on foreign oil and large areas of land for operations and to modernise industry or see it collapse. Belatedly, leaded fuel is being banned for aviation and considerable financial support is now available for the creation of new types of electric aircraft.

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In this report we look at the considerable choices of component, system and structure for pure and hybrid electric aircraft, the huge number of projects and the few commercial successes. We examine what will happen over the next ten years. Unusually, we view all this in the light of what is being achieved in electric vehicles for land and water. What is the best selling electric aeroplane and what is the biggest development contract landed for electric aircraft? Why are microturbine range extenders so interesting and will there be a big retrofit market for electric drives in light aircraft? Where are fuel cells for aircraft headed and which types of traction battery are favoured and why? How do smart skin and multiple energy harvesting fit in? Which are the organisations to watch? It is all here.

UAV market numbers 2011-2022

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This report is essential reading for chief executives, sales and marketing and business planning vice presidents and those in government, finical institution, consultants etc to understand electric aircraft and where they are headed. It has no equations, and covers the basics of battery, motor, supercapacitor, supercabattery, flexible solar cell, fuel cell and other components, so the non technical reader can learn a great deal. However, it progresses to compare such things as hybrid powertrain options for aircraft, preferred batteries to power aircraft, battery cathode, anode and cell geometry, flexible printed photovoltaics chemistries for aviation and who is winning in electric aircraft and why - flight trials, development contracts, launch dates. The trend toward bigger batteries and various types of range extender is explained and the options appraised.

With the next generation of electric aircraft being designed from the ground up rather than shoehorned into existing airframes, we explain what will be possible with printed electronics including new components such as flexible, lightweight solar cells and new airframes and missions. Flying motorcycles, planes that dive to become submarines, huge solar powered radar airships through to retrofitting a Cessna are considered, with funding from a few thousand dollars to 530 million dollars on one project. Throughout, we benchmark best practice with land and water EVs, price premium and pay back elements with many comparison charts and figures.

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Electric Vehicle experts IDTechEx have encapsulated over ten years of research and analysis into an easy to digest electric vehicle encyclopedia. All the technologies are covered and supported with over 100 tables and illustrations and over 200 acronyms and terms are explained. This encyclopedia, worth $1,500, is given as a free PDF download when you buy this report.

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Table of Contents

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

  • 1.1. Introduction to electric aircraft
  • 1.2. Range extenders
  • 1.3. Energy harvesting
  • 1.4. Traction batteries
  • 1.5. Fuel cells
  • 1.6. Comparisons
  • 1.7. Supercapacitors
  • 1.8. Traction motors
  • 1.9. Need for more benchmarking
  • 1.10. Market projections 2011-2022

2. INTRODUCTION

  • 2.1. Definitions and scope
  • 2.2. Needs
  • 2.3. Encouragement
  • 2.4. Impediments
    • 2.4.1. VESPAS Europe
  • 2.5. Benchmarking best practice with land and seagoing EVs
  • 2.6. Standards and rules
  • 2.7. Airport EVs show the way

3. TECHNOLOGIES

  • 3.1. Powertrains
    • 3.1.1. Pure electric vs hybrid
    • 3.1.2. Convergence
    • 3.1.3. Options
    • 3.1.4. Range extenders
    • 3.1.5. Airliner superconducting motor with range extender
  • 3.2. Motors
  • 3.3. Batteries
    • 3.3.1. Battery history
    • 3.3.2. Analogy to a container of liquid
    • 3.3.3. Construction of a battery
    • 3.3.4. Many shapes of battery
    • 3.3.5. Trend to laminar and conformal traction batteries
    • 3.3.6. Aurora laminar batteries in aircraft.
    • 3.3.7. Choices of chemistry and assembly
    • 3.3.8. Lithium winners today and soon
    • 3.3.9. Lithium polymer electrolyte now important
    • 3.3.10. Winning chemistry
    • 3.3.11. Winning lithium traction battery manufacturers
    • 3.3.12. Making lithium batteries safe
    • 3.3.13. GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Research & Development Center
  • 3.4. Fuel cells
    • 3.4.1. Slow progress with fuel cells
    • 3.4.2. Aerospace and aviation applications
    • 3.4.3. AeroVironment USA
    • 3.4.4. Boeing Europe
    • 3.4.5. Boeing and Airbus USA, Europe
    • 3.4.6. ENFICA Italy and UK
    • 3.4.7. Pipistrel Slovenia
    • 3.4.8. Skyspark Italy
    • 3.4.9. University of Stuttgart Germany
  • 3.5. Supercapacitors, supercabatteries
    • 3.5.1. What is a capacitor?
    • 3.5.2. Supercabattery
  • 3.6. Energy harvesting
    • 3.6.1. Multiple forms of energy to be managed
    • 3.6.2. Photovoltaics
    • 3.6.3. AeroVironment/ NASA USA
    • 3.6.4. Boeing and Versa USA, Qinetiq & Newcastle University UK
    • 3.6.5. Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Switzerland
    • 3.6.6. ETH Zurich Switzerland
    • 3.6.7. Green Pioneer China
    • 3.6.8. Gossamer Penguin USA
    • 3.6.9. Nephelios France
    • 3.6.10. QinetiQ UK
    • 3.6.11. Soaring China
    • 3.6.12. Solair Germany
    • 3.6.13. Solar Flight USA
    • 3.6.14. Sunseeker USA
    • 3.6.15. University of Applied Sciences Schwabisch Gmund Germany
    • 3.6.16. US Air Force
    • 3.6.17. Northrop Grumman USA
  • 3.7. Other energy harvesting
  • 3.8. Regenerative soaring
  • 3.9. Power beaming
  • 3.10. Hybrid powertrains in action
    • 3.10.1. Multifuel and monoblock engines
    • 3.10.2. Beyond Aviation: formerly Bye Energy USA, France
    • 3.10.3. Lotus UK
    • 3.10.4. Microturbines - Bladon Jets, Capstone, ETV Motors, Atria
  • 3.11. Hybrid aircraft projects
    • 3.11.1. Delta Airlines USA
    • 3.11.2. DLR Germany
    • 3.11.3. EADS Germany
    • 3.11.4. Flight Design Germany
    • 3.11.5. GSE USA
    • 3.11.6. Ricardo UK
    • 3.11.7. Turtle Airships Spain
    • 3.11.8. University of Bristol UK
    • 3.11.9. University of Colorado USA
  • 3.12. Rethinking the structural design

4. SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES AND OTHER EXOTICA

  • 4.1. SUAV
    • 4.1.1. Aurora Skate UAV wins border protection award
    • 4.1.2. Aerovironment small AUVs
    • 4.1.3. Rotomotion
    • 4.1.4. Robot insects
    • 4.1.5. Reconnaissance bugs and bats
    • 4.1.6. Nano air vehicle
    • 4.1.7. Lite Machines Corporation USA
  • 4.2. Large electrical UAVs
  • 4.3. Phantom Works USA plane-car
  • 4.4. Flying motorcycle Samson Motorworks
  • 4.5. Japanese solar sail to Venus

5. ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT IN ACTION

  • 5.1. Alatus Ukraine
  • 5.2. Alisport Silent Club Italy
  • 5.3. APAME France
  • 5.4. Diamond Aircraft, Siemens, EADS
  • 5.5. EADS Germany, France
  • 5.6. Electravia France
  • 5.7. Electric Aircraft Corporation USA
  • 5.8. Eurocopter helicopter default EV Europe
  • 5.9. Falx USA
  • 5.10. Flightstar USA
  • 5.11. Lange Aviation Germany
  • 5.12. Pipistrel Slovenia
  • 5.13. Renault France
  • 5.14. Russian Government
  • 5.15. Sikorsky USA
  • 5.16. SkySpark
  • 5.17. Sonex USA
  • 5.18. Sunrise USA
  • 5.19. Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan
  • 5.20. Tokyo University Japan
  • 5.21. Windward Performance USA
  • 5.22. University of Cambridge UK
  • 5.23. Yuneec International China
  • 5.24. Potential for electric airliners
  • 5.25. Airliner electric nose wheel for taxiing
    • 5.25.1. APU powered electric nose wheel
    • 5.25.2. Fuel cell powered electric nose wheel

6. 15 YEAR TIMELINE AND MARKET NUMBERS

  • 6.1. Forecast sales 2011-2021
  • 6.2. Energy efficient aircraft - the next 15 years
  • 6.3. Swarming, self-healing networks of UAVs
    • 6.3.1. Swarming 3D eye-bots in Germany

APPENDIX 1: PAVING THE WAY TO HYBRID HELICOPTERS

APPENDIX 2: IDTECHEX PUBLICATIONS AND CONSULTANCY

TABLES

  • 1.1. Number of electric aircraft, sold globally, Military / Security vs Other, 2011-2022
  • 1.2. Prices of pure electric manned, single person aircraft in thousands of dollars
  • 1.3. Project costs of electric aircraft in millions of dollars
  • 3.1. Electric vehicle drivetrain options, with those most adopted and prioritised for the future shown shaded
  • 3.2. A comparison of potential electric traction motor technologies
  • 3.3. What is on the way in or out with traction batteries
  • 3.4. 71 vertically integrated lithium traction battery cell manufacturers, their chemistry, cell geometry and customer relationships (not necessarily orders)
  • 3.5. Five ways in which a capacitor acts as the electrical equivalent of the spring
  • 3.6. Examples of energy density figures for batteries, supercapacitors and other energy sources
  • 3.7. Comparison of the three types of capacitor when storing one kilojoule of energy.
  • 3.8. Pros and cons of supercapacitors as relevant to aviation
  • 3.9. Multiple forms of energy management in aviation
  • 3.10. Choices of flexible photovoltaics
  • 4.1. Data for RQ-11A version of AeroVironment Raven
  • 6.1. Number of electric aircraft sold globally, Military / Security vs Other, 2011-2021
  • 6.2. UAV market numbers 2011-2022
  • 6.3. UAV market unit value 2011-2022, in dollars million
  • 6.4. Total market value for UAVs 2011-2022, in dollars million

FIGURES

  • 1.1. Some proposals for suburban electric aircraft.
  • 1.2. Light utility aircraft - power-systems weight comparison
  • 1.3. Light primary trainer - power-systems weight comparison
  • 1.4. Battery and jet fuel loading
  • 2.1. Bionic Dolphin and Neckar Nymph
  • 2.2. Gannet diving and planned Cormorant military spy plane/submarine
  • 2.3. Puffin concept
  • 2.4. Jaguar super car using electric drive with mini turbine range extenders - lessons for aviation
  • 3.1. Hybrid technology evolving as traction batteries improve
  • 3.2. The convergence of hybrid and pure electric technologies
  • 3.3. GE electric aircraft configuration
  • 3.4. Multiple electric motors on a NASA solar powered, unmanned aircraft for the upper atmosphere
  • 3.5. The four Cri Cri electric motors
  • 3.6. Construction of a battery cell
  • 3.7. Approximate percentage of manufacturers offering traction batteries with less cobalt vs those offering ones with no cobalt vs those offering both. We also show the number of suppliers that offer lithium iron phosphate versions.
  • 3.8. The UPS 747 that crashed in the UAE with a shipment of lithium batteries
  • 3.9. Principle of PEM fuel cell
  • 3.10. PEM fuel cell in long endurance upper atmosphere unmanned aircraft
  • 3.11. Japanese ten meter long deep sea cruising fuel cell AUV, the URASHIMA, delivering formidable power
  • 3.12. Pilot plus payload vs range for fuel cell light aircraft and alternatives
  • 3.13. Total weight vs flight time for PEM fuel cell planes
  • 3.14. Takeoff gross weight breakdowns. Left: Conventional reciprocating-engine-powered airplane. Right: Fuel-cell-powered airplane.
  • 3.15. Boeing fuel cell powered FCD aircraft
  • 3.16. ENFICA FC fuel cell plane
  • 3.17. Skyspark in flight 2009
  • 3.18. Hydrogenius
  • 3.19. Principle of the creation and maintenance of an aluminium electrolytic capacitor
  • 3.20. Construction of wound electrolytic capacitor
  • 3.21. Comparison of construction diagrams of three basic types of capacitor
  • 3.22. Rechargeable energy storage - where supercapacitors fit in
  • 3.23. Energy density vs power density for storage devices
  • 3.24. Supercapacitor construction on left compared with supercabattery on right, otherwise known as an asymmetric electrochemical double layer capacitor.
  • 3.25. Experience curve for new photovoltaic technologies
  • 3.26. Ubiquitous flexible photovoltaics
  • 3.27. Military deployment of solar/ fuel cell UAVs
  • 3.28. Helios
  • 3.29. SolarEagle
  • 3.30. Solar Impulse
  • 3.31. Solar impulse construction
  • 3.32. ETH Zurich solar powered unmanned aircraft for civil use
  • 3.33. Green Pioneer I
  • 3.34. Gossamer Penguin
  • 3.35. Nephelios planned solar airship
  • 3.36. Larry Mauro USA
  • 3.37. Test Flight of Soaring in 1994
  • 3.38. Design of Soaring
  • 3.39. Solar Flight
  • 3.40. Bubble Plane
  • 3.41. Solar and fuel cell powered airship concept
  • 3.42. Northrop Grumman hybrid airship
  • 3.43. Electraflyer Trike
  • 3.44. Electraflyer uncowled
  • 3.45. LaserMotive objectives illustrated
  • 3.46. A hybrid boat
  • 3.47. Lotus monoblock hybrid engine
  • 3.48. Adura MESA powertrain for buses and trucks employing Capstone turbine range extender
  • 3.49. The Bladon Jets microturbine range extender
  • 3.50. Twin Bladon jets in rear of Jaguar C-X75 concept supercar exhibited in 2010
  • 3.51. Planned Velozzi supercar with miniturbine range extender
  • 3.52. GSE mini diesel driving a propeller
  • 3.53. Greg Stevenson (left) and Gene Sheehan, Fueling Team GFC contender, with GSE Engines.
  • 3.54. Block diagram of the Frank/Stevenson parallel hybrid system
  • 3.55. Ricardo Wolverine engine for hybrid UAVs
  • 3.56. Turtle Airship landed on water in concept drawing
  • 3.57. Glassock hybrid set up for dynamometer testing
  • 3.58. University of Colorado hybrid aeroengine
  • 3.59. Electrified horse drawn carriages in 1900 were nothing like the cars that resulted later
  • 3.60. US Airforce interest in smart sensing skin for aircraft and aircrew
  • 3.61. T-Ink printed and laminated overhead control console for an electric car
  • 3.62. T-Ink washable heated apparel based on printed elements
  • 4.1. Examples of SUAV rechargeable lithium batteries. Top: Flight Power "EVO 20" lithium polymer battery. Bottom: Sion Power lithium sulphur
  • 4.2. Aeroplanes but not as we know them - SPI electrical SUAV
  • 4.3. Aurora Skate UAV- award winning in 2012
  • 4.4. AeroVironment Raven
  • 4.5. Raven enhancement
  • 4.6. Aqua Puma
  • 4.7. Rotomotion VTOL electrical UAV incorporating video camera, telemetry, auto takeoff and landing
  • 4.8. Examples of robot insects
  • 4.9. UAS nano swarm vignette
  • 4.10. COM-BAT concept
  • 4.11. Military hummingbird
  • 4.12. .Lite Machines Voyeur UAV
  • 4.13. Voyeur in action
  • 4.14. AeroVironment Helios
  • 4.15. Global Observer first flight August 2010
  • 4.16. Odysseus self assembling unmanned electric UAV
  • 4.17. Sunlight Eagle
  • 4.18. Lockheed Martin morphing electric UAV
  • 4.19. Lockheed flying cameras based on tree seeds
  • 4.20. Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) smart airship
  • 4.21. Lockheed Martin solar airship and P791 concepts
  • 4.22. Samson Motorworks flying motorcycle
  • 4.23. IKAROS
  • 5.1. Alatus - M Electric 44 - AOI Motorglider
  • 5.2. Electra
  • 5.3. Anne Lavrand, Project Manager of Electra, receiving the Award
  • 5.4. The world's first aircraft with a serial hybrid electric drive system
  • 5.5. Cri Cri stunt aircraft
  • 5.6. Electravia's ElectroLight and ElectroClub
  • 5.7. The ElectraFlyer C
  • 5.8. The Falx hybrid-electric tilt-rotor concept in paramedic trim left and military trim right.
  • 5.9. PC-Aero Germany
  • 5.10. Antares 20E
  • 5.11. Pipistrel
  • 5.12. Taurus Electro
  • 5.13. Taurus Electro stationary
  • 5.14. Pipistrel controls
  • 5.15. Zep'lin
  • 5.16. Concept of a nuclear powered electrically driven dirigible
  • 5.17. Sikorsky all electric helicopter
  • 5.18. SkySpark Italy
  • 5.19. Sonex Aircraft
  • 5.20. In 2006, the Japanese flew the first pure electric manned aircraft.
  • 5.21. Lazair
  • 5.22. The twin-engine, fixed-wing Lazair airframe
  • 5.23. Cost for the plane will be about $89,000 when it is available commercially in 2011.
  • 5.24. Yuneec electric paramotor
  • 5.25. Yuneec microlight
  • 5.26. EADS concept of a VoltAir electric 'fanliner'
  • 5.27. Nosewheel with WheelTug
  • 5.28. WheelTug electrified airliner nose wheel
  • 5.29. The Wheeltug system
  • 5.30. DLR fuel cell powered electric nosewheel for Airbus A320
  • 5.31. Airbus A320
  • 5.32. DLR Airbus A320 successfully taxiing using the fuel cell powered nosewheel.
  • 6.1. Artist concept of an energy efficient NASA aircraft that could enter service in 2025 designed by a team led by Northrop Grumman
  • 6.2. NASA preview of The Boeing Company team design
  • 6.3. Artist's concept of the Lockheed Martin team design
  • 6.4. UAS far term implementation by the US Army
  • 6.5. The sensor system
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