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Dutch Elysian is building a larger electric plane than was thought possible
By: Teun Schröder
According to researchers at TU Delft, the results of two recent studies show that much more is possible with a battery-electric aircraft than previously thought. That is why start-up Elysian now wants to build an electric plane that can fly 800 kilometers and has room for ninety passengers.
Several companies are working on battery-electric powered aircraft. However, it was long thought that the options were limited compared to flying on kerosene. Due to the size and weight of batteries, you would have to compromise on the number of passengers you can carry or the distance that can be flown with a full battery.

Batteries in wings
But two new studies by TU Delft into electric flying (which you can find here and here) show that much more is possible. Increasingly better batteries and new design principles make it possible to build electric aircraft that can replace traditional aircraft on a much larger scale. For example, battery packs can be incorporated into the wings and aviation can count on useful innovations such as foldable wing tips.

1,000 kilometers
This is the reason for the start-up Elysian to venture into an aircraft with room for ninety passengers, which can fly no less than 800 kilometers, and in the future even 1,000 kilometers. According to the company, these figures already cover half of all commercial flights currently flown with kerosene-fueled aircraft. If you replace these fossil aircraft with an electric variant, aviation will emit 20 percent less CO2 worldwide.

Energy density
Elysian's first aircraft, called E9X, is scheduled to make its first commercial flight in 2033. The aircraft will be equipped with a battery pack with an energy density of 360 watt hours per kilo. The energy density is the amount of energy that a battery can store at a certain weight. The average lithium-ion battery has approximately an energy density of 260-270 watt hours per kilo. But mind you, this development is happening fast. For example, the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL is already working hard on batteries with an energy density of 500 watt hours per kilo.

Aircraft manufacturer Fokker
Although Elysian is still a young company, it can count on a lot of knowledge and experience. Elysian is affiliated with the aviation innovation center of TU Delft and is part of investor Panta Holding, which also has aircraft manufacturer Fokker companies in its portfolio.

Smaller variant
Previously, Change Inc. wrote already about Meave Aerospace from Delft. This company is developing an electric aircraft with room for 52 passengers that can travel 460 kilometers on a full battery. The Meave 01, as the first model will be called, is built in such a way that the battery pack can easily be replaced by a more modern version as battery technology further develops. The company expects to make its first flight in 2030.

  • Abraham Jok Atem

    13 w

    If this become successful, we shall enjoy a few benefits from the invention of electric plane such as environmental impact Eg reduced emissions and lower noise pollution.

    • Munene Mugambi

      13 w

      Not to overstate anything but this would be groundbreaking in terms of cleaning up air travel

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