Back in 2012, Airbus and Rolls Royce got started on a collaboration. This was the start of the E-Fan program! There are three steps to this program:
Electrically powered aircraft: The first version of E-Fan was designed only to be a 100% electrically powered aircraft: an electric plane! This may be a huge step towards developing an aircraft that may ultimately not be reliant on diminishing fossil fuels. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done.
Hybrid Electric Aircraft: The planning of the development of hybrid electric airplanes is extremely important. It is essential to the future of those aircraft manufacturers that want to remain at the peak of aviation technology. Hybrid relates to a combination of jet fuel and battery-stored electrical power as is currently used in many hybrid road vehicles.
E-Fan Plus: The E-Fan Plus program introduces a hybrid configuration that uses a traditional internal combustion engine to back up the electric motor run by lithium-ion batteries. This extends the range of such electric airplanes
Rolls-Royce will be providing the electricity generator at the back of the E-Fan X plane. The generator will be powered by a turbine that is run by jet fuel. This turbine will then operate the generator that powers the electric engine. So it is not 100% hydrocarbon free but uses a lot less fossil fuel than a traditional jet engine.
Carbon-Based Fossil Fuels Are Limited
The electric plane market is one worth watching. There is no doubt that electrical power sources will ultimately join nuclear power as the only power source on earth. Fossil fuels have a finite life, and the question is how long will they last and for how long will they be economical?
The world is starting to run out of oil now. U.S. production reached a peaked 1971 and has been in decline ever since. Fossil fuels have limited availability and the time will come when the oil runs out. We should plan for that time, and the Airbus and Rolls Royce E-Fan Program is a huge step towards that.
Electric Planes: A Market Worth Watching
Engines can be powered by more than just the old petroleum based fuels. It is reasonable to assume that ultimately there will be no more carbon-based fossil fuels available to us. The only other carbon-based fuel is wood and deforestation is already harming the world. Where do you think the oxygen we breathe comes from plants including trees! Decimate the forests and we are destroying our main sources of oxygen.
If not controlled, deforestation could result in the elimination of all oxygenated life on earth: Including mankind. Wood will run out, as will oil in mankind’s ever-increasing demand for heat and energy. an electric plane may be the only way of traveling long distances quickly.
E-Fan Program: Airbus and Rolls Royce are on the Right Lines
The E-Fan program is a first step towards the elimination of oil as an energy source for aircraft. Airbus and Rolls Royce are on the right lines, and will ultimately benefit from their initiative. The E-Fan program will ultimately result in the first 100% electrically powered commercial aircraft. All transportation systems are likely to follow suit: aircraft, road vehicles, and shipping will follow. It is inevitable due to the finite stores of fossil fuels in this small planet known as Earth.
The development put into the Airbus electric plane is an indication of the future. Soon, all aircraft manufacturers will be looking to alternative energy sources. This market may appear to be a long term investment, but it is not as ‘long-term’ as many believe it to be! The E-Fan program is the future!