Advantages of electric aircraft in defense drives growing market, says GlobalData

Following the news that the RAF Air and Space Warfare Centre has been testing the electric Pipistrel Velis Electro;

Anthony Endresen, Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

“Testing the Pipistrel Velis Electro is a significant step for a prominent air force to be making. The use of electric propulsion in defense is a growing trend, with more than just enhanced green credentials up for grabs. Although testing is still in very early stages, the potential capabilities – not just for training flights but for operational flights – could be dramatic.

“In an operational sense, being able to power an aircraft that produces little to no heat or noise signature would make it more suited for missions where stealth is a key requirement. Additionally, the lack of exhaust for hot engine gases could see a change in standard aircraft design. training aircraft, the benefits come from reduced maintenance costs as electric engines have only a handful of moving parts alongside, of course, the obvious move away from costly aviation fuel. The Pipistrel can only fly 100 miles once fully charged, which won’t make it suitable for advanced flight training, but will certainly allow potential pilots to learn the fundamentals of flight in an environmentally friendly manner.

“Technology will have to advance significantly if manned electric aircraft are to become common on the battlefield.

The technological hurdles for manufacturers of electric aircraft can be found in GlobalData’s report, ‘Electric Aircraft in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research’. However, the move by the RAF is a significant step in electric aviation.

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