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Manned Electric Aircraft 2018-2028 – Hybrid & Pure Electric Technology Roadmap: IDTechEx Report

Manned Electric Aircraft 2020-2030 by Dr Peter Harrop and Dr Richard Collins at IDTechEx, provides market / technology forecasts, and project appraisals on hybrid / pure electric, VTOL / CTOL, crewed and autonomous electric propelled passenger transport.

An electronic copy of the report for 1-5 users starts at £4,250.00

The 152 page IDTechEx report, “Manned Electric Aircraft 2020-2030” draws on facts-based analysis of over 100 participating companies, conferences, databases, interviews and more.

Predictions drawn from Siemens, NASA, Airbus, Uber and IDTechEx out to 2040 are given for everything from regulations to adoption of new principles of flight. For 2019-2030 it provides IDTechEx number and value market forecasts by year for seven categories of electric manned aircraft with assumptions and explanation.

Three options for new manned electrically-driven aircraft are covered:

  • Small fixed-wing pure-electric – strongly trading now;
  • Larger hybrid and pure electric aircraft up to regional aircraft – with us within ten years and so a huge addressable market;
  • Vertical-takeoff pure-electric aircraft as air taxis and personal aircraft –  the huge challenges and opportunities are assessed in the report.

Throughout there are examples of electric aircraft from airships to helicopters and microlights, both for sale and planned. Specifications are given for many of these and key components for the future are discussed in depth.

Coverage in the report includes 2018-2028 forecasts of low and high priced electric aircraft sales by number, unit price and market value and a view of figures up to 2031 including assessments by several leading players.

Subject matter includes looking at how electric aircraft have largely followed electric land and water vehicles: pure electric small ones appeared first, about 50 years after the first electric boats and cars; hybrid designs are needed for the longer distances and tougher duty cycles and only now are these getting serious investment.

The report finds that the delays are only partly explained by the tougher demands and regulatory requirements of aircraft and how things are now changing with much larger commitments. In 2016, Siemens and Airbus agreed to pool 200 engineers – the level of effort Toyota allotted to hybrid cars twenty years earlier, with major commercial success resulting today. Toyota enjoys well over $20 billion dollars of sales of electric cars, buses and forklifts with Honda and BMW also successful – and all three are now tackling aircraft, along with Google, Apple and Facebook.

Addressable markets are scoped such as:

  • pilot training need by region;
  • number of elderly Cessnas urgently needing replacement;
  • long range, city and airport VTOL opportunities.

The VTOL market barriers and costs are examined with FAA and other views. 42 key players are compared, and projects examined for:

  • payback;
  • geography;
  • range by type;
  • years ahead;
  • and more.

Technology-wise, the report explains the significance of such things as powertrain options, batteries and energy storage, distributed thrust with up to 30 thrusters, ionic thrust, rise-and-glide, cenergy harvesting, ryogenic fuel cell, superconducting motors and powertrains and routes to aircraft up to  airliners going pure electric, covering for example power electronics, regenerative propellers and solar / supercapacitor bodywork.

It details motor types by project and kW/kg, gives technology timelines to 2050, and looks at adoption dynamics between 2020-2030.

It gives the complexity roadmap as influenced by electrification, in-mold electronics, wireless boards and more, looking at new functions which may get added, and the options for energy harvesting at both aircraft and board level.

It outlines emissions, regulations and legislative drivers between 2020-2040, benchmarked against  land transport.

The report also gives detail and analysis on ten important developers and manufacturers and their views and many programs involving both startlingly new technology and new electric aircraft. Throughout the report there are many examples of recent activity, interviews and intentions with many illustrations making it all very easy to grasp from battery reduction to technology transfer arriving from drones and Tesla cars.


Opinion

Quite brief – we don’t have one. The text here is drawn from report website – we have not read the report. But the content does sound quite comprehensive and likely to give a decent overview of projects, markets and technologies.