Aircraft of the future and alternative energy resources
In difficult times for the airlines industry, several airlines and aircraft manufacturers have come together to find new alternative energy resources and to design the planes of the future.
French researchers argue that in the coming years passenger planes could be powered by fuel extracted from straw and sawdust, a greener alternative than kerosene. The “ProBio 3” project it started in July and is co-financed by the French government. It aims to process agricultural and forestry debris to develop a new type of biofuel, which could be used in proportion to 50% in combination with kerosene.
Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer and one of the supporters of the program, believes that sawdust and agricultural waste could be an alternative source of fuel in the future. The budget of the ProBio3 program over eight years is 24,6 million. The program aims to create a profitable production line for hydroprocessed oils, a type of biofuel certified by international standards as compatible for airplanes, in combination with kerosene.
The EU plans to produce 2 millions of tonnes of biofuels for airplanes annually by 2020. Airlines in Europe consume around 50 million tonnes of kerosene annually. So the percentage of biofuels will not be very high, but it's a start!
We also remain in the area of alternative energy resources and discuss presentation of the German research institute, Bauhaus Luftfahrt. He presented a aircraft powered by electric motors. The presented airplane concept, called "Ce-Liner", has a capacity of 200 seats. The German research institute predicts that by 2030, batteries will have the capacity to allow a flight of almost 1.000 kilometers, by 2035 electric planes will be able to fly 1.500 km and by 2040, 2.500 km. Ce-Liner could become a serious competitor for classic aircraft, dedicated to short and medium flights, from the Boeing 737, Airbus A320, Embraer, etc. ranges.
According to the researchers, the Ce-Liner can be refueled in 30 minutes, has reversible engines for better control and the passenger seats are designed to provide more space when the plane is not full. The price of the Ce-Liner plane could be 39,6 million dollars (30,6 million euros).
I expect airplanes equipped with solar panels or wind power plants.