The 2019 symposium is coming up in october: https://www.sasymposium.com/
Also Uber just had its "elevate summit" on its flight plans (all electric): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmVTG4mAK7nyJ7pu7pTd_...
Basically, any question you have, someone has devoted the last few years of their career to and given a 45 minute presentation on.
This is the specific plane mentioned in the article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REdh3Q4cPuE
That guy did a great roundup video of electric flight a few months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIM3pgxHVIM
He also did a tour of the Pipestrel plan a month ago where you get to see some "under the hood" stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfjCXDf9rhk
However, I suspect then you'll run into other issues. I can't imagine LA can have too many air taxis flying around before they become a nightmare to manage. If the hourly cost of an air taxi is low enough that everyone can take one, the sky will become saturated. There's obviously a lot of space, but our systems for managing air traffic right now are designed around there being tens to hundreds of aircraft in the same area, not thousands. We'd need to introduce fully automated aircraft routing to have a hope of dealing with air taxis over dense cities if they became remotely popular.
Battery prices can be offset by cheaper electricity and/or carbon taxes.
Less noisy planes should also be able to operate in areas jets aren't, such as extremely desirable urban centers. eVTOL is even better in that, but developments that would make it rival fixed wing are coming, eventually. If a V-22 can do it, so can civilians.
ATC is the choking point - we'll have to take a lesson from the phone system, which transitioned from having human operators routing calls to all of us recognizing dial-busy-ring tones and being able to dial numbers ourselves.
As it stands, in non-controlled airspace, it already works like this. Pilots announce their intentions and coordinate with each other. This only works in areas with very low traffic.
There are some very interesting research topics in there in how to achieve this distributed consensus and how to deal with malicious actors trying to disrupt the air traffic in the region.
General aviation 100LL ("avgas") fuel is taxed federally at $0.191/gallon (or $0.335/gallon for certain ownership structures).
General aviation jet fuel is taxed at $0.219 (to as much as $0.244) per gallon.
Highway fuel is taxed federally at $0.184/gallon (slightly less than avgas).
Electric aircraft are not poised to disrupt the jet-fuel burning sector of aviation. The aircraft in this article will be competing against aircraft using taxed fuel (100LL).
(Note that some states do tax airline jet fuel and some airports assess a flowage fee per gallon [which is for practical purposes equivalent to a sales tax].)
I don't know if that also applies to purely domestic use though. Maybe that's how states can impose a tax?
Has untaxed rooftop solar always been cheaper than some other taxed energy source?
Anyway, lithium sulphur is mentioned
Could anyone add more background? Is this something we're likely to be seeing in EVs any time soon?
"Quantum says good buy, and Bye says hello."
I think it's a bit too high brow for a head line though.
So, that’s only a few times more expensive than a car, and quite a bit more fun.
Charging will take in any case much longer than refueling.
With rapid charging infrastructure, you can top batteries up in 30-45 minutes to about 80%. That's for a high end car. Probably it could be done faster with specialized equipment. Typically, you don't drain the battery to 0% and you don't charge to more than 80% unless you are planning to fly to the maximum range. Finally, charging times are non linear and it slows down the further you charge a battery.
Also, people forget that airlines are on the ground quite long in between flights. Offloading and on-boarding passengers takes quite a bit of time. Programming the flight computers is quite fiddly. Running down checklists with dozens of items takes a lot of time. Waiting for engines to spin up and get to the right temperature, etc. 30-40 minutes is quite common.
Plenty of time to top up some batteries. And waiting a bit longer for some cheap electricity is probably well worth the tonnes (literally) of fuel you are not going to be burning.
Swapping batteries would make more sense if we get to the point a full charge could allow a passenger plane to fly for many hours and charge speed would be limited by the total amount of power a terminal full of recharging planes would be requiring.
The Eviation Alice has a maximum range of around 600 miles. That's only a nine seater but it is going to be very disruptive in servicing anything between 100-400 miles. This kind of range you could take off with 80% charge and land with enough left for legal requirements and then top up back to 80% in about 45 minutes and maybe charge it to 100% overnight. That sounds like the sweetspot for this type of plane. It would likely be cheap enough to compete with e.g. cars on that distance and be way faster and possibly even be price competitive or close enough to make it interesting as an alternative to driving (at least from a cost perspective).
The Bye planes make more sense for smaller distances; perhaps as an air taxi in metropolitan areas. I don't think they are designed for longer distance commercial usage. Though obviously this is fine for GA type recreational flying. If you are flying those kind of routes commercially, you'd want to be able to do several flights between charging.
Over time, battery capacity, charging times, and ranges will improve. Also electricity cost is likely to benefit from on/near airport solar/wind as more planes are going to be flying electrical.
The battery as with all electric vehicles is still an issue, but for short air taxi distances it will be fine. Switch out the batteries on arrival and go again.
Even in the smallest aircraft, the batteries weigh hundreds - or thousands - of kilograms, comprise the bulk of the aircraft's dry weight, and are likely to be tightly integrated with the rest of the airframe for structural and safety reasons.
Most aircraft spend enough time on the ground between flights to make fast DC charging quite practical, and certainly much more so than swapping out huge batteries.
Santa Monica and similar airports are going to be ground zero for this because they have lots of rich people living near by that might opt for an electrical plane. Sounds like an awesome way to get around LA, which has quite a few nice small airports.
Basically Bye and Eviation are launching products that are sort of hitting the sweet spot for general aviation. They have enough range that you can go somewhere at a small portion of the cost of a typical 100$ hamburger.
Probably in about a decade, there will be enough of these things flying that regulation and politics will adapt. Many airports currently have landing limitations because of noise. I could see some exceptions being made for electrical planes or even some airports being limited to only electrical planes. I could even see how building new airports could become popular again; especially close to cities and especially for VTOL planes (need a lot less runway).