Turbine Training Center Blog for Cessna 208 Caravan & Beechcraft King Air pilots
Do you remember the tagline for the old SUPERMAN TV Show? The one that went, “Look, up in the air, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” Well, a 21st Century version of that may very well go like this: “Look, up in the air, it’s a comet, it’s a jet stream, it’s …. an extension cord? If you are, or are thinking about becoming, a pilot, you will undoubtedly want to familiarize yourself with ELECTRIC PLANES AND KING AIR 300 TRAINING.
“Well,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas, said somewhat philosophically, “it’s not like there aren’t any electric planes out there.”
What Dale was referring to is the fact that NASA is building the proto-type of an electrically powered plane, which should be ready for flight sometime next year. Too, in 2015 a two-seat Airbus conquered the challenge of flying over the English Channel.
“As you can imagine,” Jason Wolcott, the Vice President of TURBINE TRAINING, added, “putting an Electric Plane in the air is not without its challenges.”
Without a doubt, the major challenge involved deals with battery limitations. That’s why, interestingly enough, a graduate of TURBINE TRAINING may very well be more apt to fly an electric plane than someone who flies hundreds of passengers at a time.
“It’s not unusual,” Richard Anderson, professor of aerospace engineering and Director of EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY’s flight research center “for a great deal of technical advances to start in smaller planes.”
“You know,” Dale mused, “everyone things that electric powered systems in aircraft is a new idea, but it really isn’t.”
Dale, of course, is absolutely right. As far back as WW II, when the B-29 Superfortress bomber had its gun turrets powered by electric motors.
“Another drawback of electric planes,” Jason pointed out, “is the same as the solar powered planes – they are way slow.”
Stats prove Jason to be correct as well. The Airbus that flew over the English Channel had a maximum speed of 136 mph, while Solar Impulse 2 average air speed was 47 mph.
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(To learn more about this topic, research “Electric Aircraft”)