Dutch Start-Up Elysian: All-Electric 90-Seat Aircraft Unveiled
Image source: Elysian.
Elysian Aircraft, a start-up from the Netherlands, revealed plans for a new fully electric aircraft, the E9X, able to carry 90 passengers with an 800 km (497 miles) range. This would be achieved by using a battery pack with a 360 Wh/kg power density.
Furthermore, the range may even be extended to 1,000 km (621 miles) through future improvements, enabling sufficient range for around 50% of scheduled commercial flights. The aircraft was unveiled at an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference and is said to be the product of years-long research by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Additionally, the E9X capabilities are backed by two scientific studies, “A New Perspective on Battery-Electric Aviation I & II”, in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology, according to the company’s website.
Taking into account the weight of aircraft equipped with heavy batteries, the thinking is that such a solution is only suitable for small aircraft and small distances. However, the company aims to prove that hydrogen is not the only solution for covering significant distances and that battery-electric aircraft have potential, which is being underestimated. Batteries also use energy significantly more efficiently than in the case of hydrogen.
The design of the aircraft features a small fuselage, longer wings, and rear landing gear, enabling significant airframe mass savings and around 15% drag reduction. The company also takes advantage of the expertise and backing of the Netherlands Aerospace Center, Fokker Services Group, as well as other experienced leaders from the aviation industry.
The E9X is expected to begin operations in 2033. However, other considerations can pose a challenge. One of them is the fast charging availability of aircraft at airports, as well as the need for really large battery packs.