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April 12, 2024
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Disruptive technology is arriving in electric powered aviation much faster than many of us believed possible. Several small companies are leading the way in innovation, and electric propulsion from batteries to hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid technologies are being introduced at a rapid rate.

These new technologies will be disruptive to traditional airline business models and open new opportunities for innovative concepts, particularly service to smaller airports, and will likely impact both general aviation, air taxi, and regional airline services first before migrating up the food chain to the trunk-liners provided by Airbus and Boeing.

Today in our Perspectives webinar series, we had guests from Pipistrel Aircraft, MagniX engines, and hydrogen-power focused ZeroAvia speaking about both the tremendous progress already made and the timeframe for regional electric aircraft emerging more quickly than we had imagined, likely by 2024 and more widespread by 2030.

There were a number of key takeaways from our session, but one that stands out as a comparison of a conventional Cessna Caravan with a MagniX engine electric-powered one. The conventional model required $400 of fuel for a typical trip, versus $24 of electricity for the same flight with an electric engine. Since the electric engine has one moving part and doesn’t wear out, maintenance costs are also much less. This provides an opportunity for innovative business models that would simply not be economically possible using today’s conventional technologies and will open up new opportunities for innovative transportation.

Pipistrel, earlier this year, certified the first all-electric aircraft, a two-seat trainer. But that is just the beginning, as they have multiple products on the drawing board and have set a certification pathway for the rest of the industry.

Hydrogen-powered aircraft are quite feasible, and infrastructure problems are already being solved to enable the introduction of technologically and economically disruptive business models in the future by Zero Avia

There was a lot of information packed into our one-hour webinar today, which can be viewed here. We invite you to take the time to view this webinar, which will open your eyes to how quickly disruptive new technologies will change aviation for the better – with lower emissions, lower noise, reduced cost, reduced maintenance, and innovative new aircraft in the very near future.

Our panelists, Roei Ganzarski, CEO of MagniX, Tine Tomažic, CTO at Pipistrel, and Katya Akulinicheve, head of UK operations for Zero Avia, provided a roadmap to the future in electric aviation. In this era of the COVID-19 doldrums, it is nice to know those disruptive new technologies will make a positive difference in the way we travel and are only a few years away from widespread adoption.  There really is good news coming our way sooner than we thought possible!

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President AirInsight Group LLC

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