Dutch Company Unveils Electric Aircraft that can carry 90 passengers


In a bold move that challenges skeptics and envisions a new era in aviation, a Dutch company named Elisian has revealed plans for the development of 90 commercial passenger electric aircraft. The groundbreaking announcement was made at SciTec 2024, the world’s largest event for Aerospace R&D.

Contrary to prevailing opinions that electric aircraft remain a distant dream, Elisian aims to revolutionize air travel with its e9x concept. This electric aircraft, designed to carry 90 passengers, is touted to cover a distance of 500 miles on a single charge. The unveiling challenges the conventional belief that hydrogen-powered aircraft might be more viable than their electric counterparts.

The company’s research papers argue that large battery electric aircraft possess greater energy-carrying capacity and boast superior aerodynamic efficiency. Elisian’s innovative design integrates concepts such as span loading, low-wing configuration, and the advantages of electric propulsion. The result is a significant leap forward from previous estimates that confined electric planes to carrying around 20 passengers for a range of approximately 200 miles.

The e9x concept, detailed in the research papers, features a low-wing configuration with a fuselage measuring 9 ft 11 in and an impressive 137.5 ft wingspan. The folding tips of the wings ensure the aircraft can fit into standard airport gates. Elisian employs batteries with an energy density of 360 watts per kilogram, just shy of Elon Musk’s benchmark of 400 watts per kilogram.

The strategic placement of the 35 tons of batteries in the wing box minimizes root bending moments, contributing to a lower wing structural weight. This innovative design is complemented by eight 12T propellers and a turbo generator in the rear fuselage, providing 45 minutes of additional power as an emergency reserve measure.

While this ambitious project holds promise for the future of electric aviation, Elisian acknowledges several technical challenges that need addressing before mass production can commence. These challenges include reducing battery recharge times, effective thermal management, seamless integration of propellers and wings, and certification of the reserve energy system.

To tackle these obstacles, Elisian has entered partnerships with the University of Twente in the Netherlands and the National Aerospace Research Institutes in Germany. These collaborations aim to find solutions to technical challenges and expedite the realization of the e9x electric aircraft.

Despite the hurdles, Elisian is optimistic about the future of electric air travel. The company estimates a financial requirement of $8 to $10 billion to bring the e9x aircraft into commercial production. With $10 million raised so far, Elisian anticipates attracting potential investors to accelerate the development process.

While the road to electric aircraft remains challenging, Elisian’s visionary plans offer a glimpse into a future where sustainable and efficient air travel becomes a reality. As the aviation industry grapples with environmental concerns, innovations like the e9x concept pave the way for a cleaner and greener future in the skies.

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