Some climate change believers are embracing the Green New Deal’s radical idea to eliminate fossil-fuel-powered air travel, including George Bye, president of Bye Aerospace.
Bye hopes to “revolutionize the aviation industry as the first commercial electric airplane,” Yale Climate Connections reported, noting that the eFlyer is the first of its kind to seek certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Electric motors are not new,” George Bye, president of Bye Aerospace and the airplane’s creator said in the article. “But the application to airplanes is remarkable, and until recently most people thought it was impossible.”
Yale Climate Connections reported:
Bye, who started working to develop the plane 12 years ago, said it took a transformation in battery and engine technology to make the eFlyer possible. While cars have long been able to carry heavy batteries and engines, airplanes must be aerodynamic and light. Bye completed his design once batteries and electric engines became small enough.
Bye hopes to have a fleet of flyers “take to the skies” in 2021.
The Yale Climate Connections’ writer accepts and advances the idea of man-made global warming:
“Personal cars drive the conversation about transportation’s impact on climate change, but some estimate that an airplane flight could be 50 times worse for the climate than a car driven the same distance,” the article said. “Airplanes, like cars, release carbon dioxide, but each flight also releases nitrogen oxides, water vapor and particulates that can contribute to global warming.”
“When released at high altitude these other emissions usually amount to more than half of a plane trip’s contribution to climate change.”
The FAA in 2017 decided to consider electrical aircraft for certification, according to the Yale article.
Buried deep in the article is the admission that it would be a challenge to replace the massive fleet of airplanes that drive U.S. aerial transportation, which play a huge role in the country’s infrastructure and economy:
“Still, both the technology and the aviation market are a long way from scaling-up to large electric jets,” the article said. “The four-seat eFlyer has a maximum fly time of only four hours, and batteries and electric engines get more expensive and heavier as they are scaled up.”
The challenge is clear with a visit to the FAA’s website, which includes these statistics:
“Every day, the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) provides service to more than 44,000 flights and 2.7 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace.”
- 16.1 million flights a year
- 5,000 flights in the sky at “peak operational times”
- 77,000 pieces of equipment and systems are operating 365/24/7
- 5.3 million square miles of United States domestic airspace
- 167,100 fixed-wing general aviation aircraft
- 10,500 rotorcraft
- 25.5 million “general aviation flight hours per year”
- 19,622 airports — 5,092 public and 14,530 private
- 1 billion U.S. air passengers yearly
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