Above the Clouds

NASA has plans to take electric motors and generators to new heights

On Tuesday, NASA made its first official announcement regarding plans to use electricity to power airplanes in the future.

This tweet appeared around 5 PM:

The space and aviation authority intends to use hybrid electric technology, including electric motors and generators, to increase efficiency in jets and other aircraft. Achieving this would reduce emissions and energy consumption – the main goals of all other hybrid ventures – according to the NASA Glenn Research lab in Cleveland, Ohio. Its most difficult challenge is finding a combination of electrical components that can generate enough power to lift planes and keep them airborne for extended periods of time.

The pathway to doing this will involve electric motors and generators that cooperate with turbines to push energy throughout the aircraft, evenly distributed. This is intended to reduce drag per given amount of fuel usage. All of this obviously complies with goals for lowered carbon emissions and cost efficiency, as NASA representatives expect the cost decrease to amount to as much as $255 billion in operational savings between 2025 and 2050. According to a report by Silicon Republic’s Colm Gorey, when perfected, placing these engines at the rear of planes could reduce carbon emissions by as much as 30 percent.


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